October 19th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN Poll: Close contest for Florida's 29 electoral votes

(CNN) - Three days before the final presidential debate, a new survey in the biggest of the battleground states indicates the race for the White House is basically tied.

According to a CNN/ORC International poll conducted Wednesday and Thursday, entirely after the second presidential debate, 49% of likely voters in Florida say they support Republican nominee Mitt Romney, with 48% backing President Barack Obama. Romney's one point margin is well within the survey's sampling error.

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Monday, the final president debate, which will focus on international issues, will be held in Boca Raton, Florida.

"Generational and income difference are the two main factors in the Sunshine State, with President Obama holding double-digit leads among younger and less affluent voters and Mitt Romney piling up big margins among older and higher-income voters," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

With female voters and women's issues in the national spotlight this last week, the survey indicates the gender gap in Florida is much smaller than the generational divide or the income gap. The president has a narrow 49%-47% edge among women voters, with Romney holding a 50%-46% edge among men.

"This suggests that in Florida women are voting more on the basis of pocketbook concerns and issues that split young and old throughout the country," adds Holland.

According to the poll, the president and the former Massachusetts governor are tied among two key swing groups: Independent voters and suburban voters.

As always, keep in mind that the poll does not, and cannot, predict the outcome of the election in November. The survey indicates that one in twelve likely Florida voters say they could change their minds between now and Election Day, more than enough to affect a one-point race.

President George W. Bush won Florida in his 2004 re-election, but Obama narrowly captured the state in his 2008 victory over Sen. John McCain. This cycle Florida, where 29 electoral votes are up for grabs, has been getting tons of attention during the general election, with the candidates making frequent visits to the Sunshine State. The poll's release come just a few hours before Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP running mate, team up for a rally in Daytona Beach. And it comes as Vice President Joe Biden makes a two day swing through the state.

The Obama and Romney campaigns are also spending big bucks on get out the vote efforts and to run television commercials in the state. The two presidential campaigns, the party committees, and the super PACs and other independent groups supporting the candidate, have shelled out more than $125 million to run ads on broadcast TV in Florida. That's according to data provided to its clients by Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), which tracks campaign advertising. Twelve million of that spending has come just in the last week.

Three non-partisan, live operator polls of likely voters were conducted in Florida after the first presidential debate and before the second showdown. A CNN Poll of Polls which averaged all three surveys indicated Romney at 49% and Obama at 46%.

With third party candidates factored in, Romney stands at 48% and Obama has 47%. Of the third party candidates, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson has 2%, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode holds 1%, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein received less than one half of one percent in the poll.

The new CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, with 1,030 adults, including 922 registered voters and 681 likely voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for likely voters is plus or minus four percentage points.


Filed under: 2012 • CNN/ORC International poll • Florida • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (359 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    David, GM has gone bankrupt 3 times before now and never closed once, yes you allow a company to go bankrupt if they can not pay thier bills. All Obama did was screw over every stockholder in GM including the employees

    October 19, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  2. krissy

    are you serious americans, voting for romney? here in the UK we can't understand why you would
    vote for that joker, he as changed his mind numerous of times, and you can see it on the telly, why would
    you folks vote for him, when he clearly doesn't make sense? your country seriously needs to wake up!

    October 19, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. dr greg

    Military Times 2012 poll has Romney over Obama 2-1. I think I know how the Armed Services are going to vote.

    October 19, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. Face it Romney will lose!!

    Romeny can' t even win the state he was born in or the state he was governor in. That is plain pathetic, should just jump off of a cliff.

    October 19, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. CosmicC

    At this point I would hope that the truely uncommitted could fit in a VW beetle. Do these people hide under rocks? I don't remember an election when the differences between the candidates was so clear and when the lies about each other were so few (lies about their own positions is a different story).

    October 19, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. Steve S

    Hey Orlando guy.....you call people names, because you're too stupid to present a real argument.

    October 19, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. Snarks

    I would give my unborn child to see Romney win this. If obama does, I promise he will be no different than kim jog ill / stalin / lenin. Ruling over you peasants with an iron fist.

    October 19, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. Hot Edge

    Looks like these numbers are "not optimal" for President Obama

    October 19, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Artifex

    I am sure the republicans will find some mixture of hanging chad, voter suppression, or carpet bomb the entire state 24/7 with swift boat type lies to steal Florida AGAIN no matter what the people vote.

    October 19, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
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