Poll: Dead heat in Florida for Romney, Obama
September 24th, 2012
08:29 AM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Dead heat in Florida for Romney, Obama

(CNN) - A new poll released Sunday indicates the presidential race in Florida is razor thin between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Forty-eight percent of likely voters back the president, while 47% support the Republican presidential nominee, according to the poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research and commissioned by the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times.

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The one point margin falls well within the poll's sampling error.

"It's still very much a toss-up. It's a turnout game," Brad Coker, who conducted the survey for Mason-Dixon, told the Tampa Bay Times.

The margin is also slightly smaller than CNN's Poll of Polls in Florida, which averages the Mason Dixon survey along with two other polls conducted of likely voters in the state over the past two weeks. It indicates Obama has 49% support, while Romney has 45%.

The Mason-Dixon poll was conducted Sept. 17-19, the same days that a secretly recorded video emerged of Romney making controversial comments at a Florida fund-raiser in May. The story dominated the news cycle for a large part of the week.

READ MORE: Battleground polls seem to give Obama upper hand over Romney

Florida represents a crucial battleground where both candidates spend extensive amounts of time and money courting the state's 29 electoral votes. Obama and Romney, as well as Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, and Obama's wife, Michelle, have all traveled to the Sunshine State within the last 10 days for campaign stops.

CNN's Electoral Map also rates Florida as one of the nine toss-up states in the 2012 presidential race.

With the state's high population of seniors, Medicare amounts to one of the biggest talking points on the trail in Florida. While Romney has been playing defense on his proposal to overhaul the system and offer a subsidy-based option, the new poll Sunday shows the two candidates are fairly even on the issue. Asked who they trust more to keep Medicare financially stable, 49% of voters chose Obama, while 47% picked Romney.

The poll also indicates Obama leading among Hispanic voters, a crucial voting bloc in the state. Perhaps more significant, the president has a double-digit advantage–11 points–over Romney among independent voters–a margin that has increased by six points for Obama since the poll was last conducted in July.

Also of note, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson pulls one percent of support when factored in with Obama and Romney. While the long shot White House hopeful has no chance of winning the presidential election, his turnout could influence the results on Election Day with the race being so close.

Mason-Dixon interviewed 800 likely Florida voters by telephone between September 17 and 19. The sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Along with The Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times, the survey was conducted for El Nuevo Herald, Bay News 9 and Central Florida News 13.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Mitt Romney • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. yasmine

    umm? a lot of Cuban Americans in that poll..

    September 24, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  2. ST

    We are going to pull it out keeping in mind that GOP had its convention in Tampa and still they don't come ahead. What is important is to keep engaged and make sure that we have determined to win it regardless of what we went through (voter suppression).

    September 24, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Dead heat. Hmph!
    Florida and it's legions of senior citizens better wake up to the fact that, as one commentator summed it up: " This election is not about Obama it's about YOUR mama".
    Obama 2012. Seriously Americans.

    September 24, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  4. Elizabeth

    Ok, Sunshine State...Shine On! Vote for Barack Obama!!

    September 24, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  5. Ky

    This is just political spinning at it's best. For the most reasonable agregate of polls take a look at electoral-vote.com
    That site agregates polls from several poll results. It's currently 49% vs 46% in FL. That may still be within the margin of errors but it's not as close as reported by Ashley here on CNN. Political calculus says Obama will win FL.

    September 24, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  6. MaryM

    Mr Romney, Mr gold plated weathervane himself, will not win Florida this time. Remember the great big boooo Lyin Ryan received at the AARP. Mitt and Lyin Ryan are done

    September 24, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  7. Jane

    If America votes Romney into office then they deserve what they get. This is really unbelievable.

    September 24, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  8. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    I don't believe that half the voters in Florida would be stupid enough to vote for the gop idiots that got us into this mess and intend to screw around with their soc sec and Medicare , go ahead and vote for the gop and you will deserving to have your Medicare and soc sec destroyed , I hope your kids can support you and pay your medical bills ,I'm voting straight dem and Obama .

    September 24, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  9. Martin Chiaravalloti

    Nothing new here, just another attempt to grab space on google news and get readership. CNN has really gone downhill!

    September 24, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  10. shushe

    looking good for Romney.

    September 24, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  11. Ari Sadri

    It's going to be a close race, let's pray and hope that whomever is the winning candidate can revive the economy and stability around the world

    September 24, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  12. Thomas

    PPP has it at 50-45. Nate Silver has it around the same. Mason-Dixon poll has it at +4 O a week ago and you call it razor thin?? C'mon CNN.

    September 24, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  13. Doubt is in the name

    poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling . . . Need I say more? Romney is losing fast and bad. This is just another wasted attempt by a bias right wing sympathizer group, designed to hold Romney up while giving his failing campaign a booster shot. We the people are beyond these feeble attempts to aid and assist the white guy who is clearly not presidential material.

    September 24, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  14. CaveAnimal

    Mr. Romney, show us your full tax returns, like your father did, then come back and talk.

    September 24, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  15. STEN DEADIO

    Gee, I wonder why the Got Ours Party is trying to crush the civil rights of minority voters? The truly astounding part is that they're surprised that no minorities will be voting for them.
    Hate Liberty for all? Vote Republican.

    September 24, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  16. woodsrocks

    The Rmoney/Ryan medicare plan will give you $6,000 to buy a $12,000 insurance policy. Or, if you do find coverage at age 65 and older for $6,000, it won't cover much of anything. I wonder if people will just have the option of pocketing the $6,000 and going without, or will they be required to give it some insurance company? Wouldn't this amount to a government subsidy for the insurance industry?????

    September 24, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  17. v_mag

    Your vote for president is only part of a non-binding referendum, no matter where you live. You have a chance of making a difference in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania or one of the other swing states, but even there, your vote will not add 1 to the final count of the person you support. In Texas and elsewhere, only a protest vote is meaningful at all, since it has already been decided who will get the "real" vote, the electoral vote.

    Doesn't this enrage you? Your are an American citizen and yet your vote is treated like dirt. It is as if there were only one candidate on the ticket, like you were voting for Gorbachev in the old Soviet Union. Your vote is no more meaningful than that. You'll see conventions, debates, endless TV ads, but in the end, your vote it totally worthless, because it will not contribute 1 to the "real" total. The election of president and vice president is decided by a few thousand voters in 10 or so states, and the millions more that vote are disenfranchised.

    In 2000, the majority of voters nationwide voted for Al Gore. Bush became president, and that led to 8 years of the worst abuses of power in our history. Did we get what we deserved? After all, Bush lost the popular vote. America spoke, but we were over ruled by the electoral college, and no one even really knows who those people are. How does that make you feel? Will the guy getting the minority of votes win this election, too? People scream about liberty and rights, and we don't even have the right to cast a meaningful vote for president.

    September 24, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  18. mdoweht

    The Republicans are in the curious position of having to convince the
    country that it is in terrible shape, but it is not their fault. In
    fact, even though all the economic indicators are improving, Mitt has to
    argue that he could somehow do better, even though he would adopt the
    same terrible policies that W. did, which got us into this mess to begin
    with.But the Republicans can suspend belief on Taxes,Terrorism,Global
    Warming, Evolution, and a lot of other issues. So they are practiced in
    fairy tales, and some of them will believe it, but not enough to get
    Mitt elected.

    September 24, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  19. naksuthin

    On 60 minutes last night Romney said he would save money on Medicare by reducing services to wealthier seniors while increasing services to poorer seniors.

    My question is: How do I know which category I fall under?

    Will Romney use my assets to determine if I get more or less Medicare help?
    So if I have $400000 in 401K assets, will I have to pony up more money for a heart bypass surgery? Does that put me in the "wealthier" category???

    I always though Medicare was a health insurance plan for all seniors. Since I've paid for it all through my working years , shouldn't I be allowed to enjoy it in my old age, regardless of income or assets??

    If Medicare becomes a means tested benefit, then doesn't it become just like Medicaid?

    I wish Romney would be more specific?
    Has anyone heard Romney/Ryan speak of the dollar amount that determines who is rich and who is poor?

    Or do I just have to wait till Romney and the Congress "work things out" once he's elected to find out which category I fall under??

    September 24, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    Who would have thought that after victimizing 47% of America, Mitt Romney would himself start playing the "I'm a victim, too" card? Have to give CNN credit for helping Mitt pimp Mitt.

    September 24, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  21. Tabeth

    Friends,
    What Romney said in private, that is what he is. By trying to change that because it is known does not alter his inner conviction. Should he capture the WH..disaster for america and the world...he needs to be blocked right way!

    September 24, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  22. h2oclerk

    It is embarrassing that Florida and all states are not 90+ percent in favor of Romney.

    Obama represents an increasingly authoritarian government that continues to deny more and more individual liberties under the guise of "for the public good".

    Denying individuals the right to make their own decisions to buy or not buy a product (like insurance) or to sell or not sell a product (again like insurance) is an abrogation of both our natural and Constitutional rights.

    The Constitution was written specifically to protect our liberty. Obamacare is written to trample our liberties.

    September 24, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  23. GonzoinHouston

    Heaven help us, but once again crazy ol' Florida, the Land of the Hanging Chad, is once again the most important state in the election. If Obama takes Florida, it's all over for Romney. If Romney takes it, he can lose three other toss-up states and still win. Romney has the Cubans; he ought to have the seniors but they're scared of the medicare issue. Obama has the rest of the Hispanic vote and most of the women. One good gaffe by either candidate could be the difference.

    September 24, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  24. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    I'm sure by now everyone has seen Paul Ryan get booed at the AARP convention. I think majority of those seniors in Florida share that same sentiment. That's bad news for Willard. But the voter surpression efforts being made by Gov. Scott could help Willard STEAL Florida.

    September 24, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  25. acky55

    This tight race indicates voters in Florida are listening to their self than they do to President Obama and Mitt. This will make the outcome very unpredictable.

    September 24, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
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