Austin, Texas (CNN) – In a stark contrast to recent national poll numbers showing low approval ratings for President Obama, over a thousand people lined up outside the landmark Paramount Theater in Austin on Thursday to see the commander-in-chief speak.
One of them, Roni Kendall, arrived at 7:30 on Wednesday night to claim the first spot in line. Kendall spent the night outside the theater on the sidewalk.
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"I'm here because I love this man, and I respect him greatly," she said. "Mainly, I want to support him."
Kendall said the line grew exponentially after her arrival, and that roughly 30 people waited overnight.
"It has just built," she told CNN. "It is around the block and people are very excited."
As for the issues facing Texans, like the immigration problem with young children coming across the border from Latin America, she says, "It is really tough. If he [Obama] were allowed to do some of the things he'd like to do, we'd be in better shape. But he just continues to be blocked, and that's a shame because a lot could get done that isn't getting done."
And what was it like sleeping outside?
"Street cleaners woke us up in the morning, but it was fun," Kendall said. "We made our community right here. "
Kendall says she also volunteers as an usher at the ornately decorated theater, which is celebrating its one hundredth anniversary this year.