October 19th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
2 years 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. myviewis

    Finally Floridians woke up to the reality that Romney/Ryan is the answer to getting our country back to working, families back to making a steady salary, no more spending crazy and borrowing crazy.

    I guess they finally woke up to understanding that Medicare will pay for Obamacare.

    October 19, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    My family members would never vote for this creep, but considering Florida's history and the governor, Willard should be able to steal this state just fine.

    October 19, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Montykoolaid

    Newsmax Zogby just released a poll today showing Obamas post second debate bump.

    Obama 48%
    Romney 42%

    October 19, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. raj

    i think cnn is fox

    October 19, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. Howard

    After discovering blatant voter fraud in Ohio, the authorities there repeatedly contacted Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder, for help ... but they never got a response !!!

    October 19, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. John Smith

    48% on Romney... blame it on Floridian ignorance...

    October 19, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. PJ

    Seniors haven't had time to digest what a Romney/Ryan Administration would do to their Social Security and Medicare!

    October 19, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. mike58

    this must really hurt CNN editors
    Thank you FL keep up the great work

    October 19, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Conrad Murray

    As a Floridan, no one I know was asked.

    I call hoax.

    October 19, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. John G.

    I hope the conservative elderly in Florida get what they deserve, a Medicare voucher program. Then let's see how much they like the GOP next election.

    October 19, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. xfiler93

    Not good news for the DEAR LEADER. Hopefully, common sense will prevail and send this socialist/marxist back to Chicagoland where he and his minions belong.

    October 19, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Frank

    I'm glad Voters are waking up and getting Obama closer to Romney.. Romney was ahead before by 3 points if I am not mistaken, and now it is just one, I am positive the President will get this state as well. OBAMA 2012

    October 19, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. JD

    Ah, CNN, come on. When BO is up by a point the headline is "Obama leading..." When MR is up by a point it is "A tie.." Be consistent, at least and don't look so obvious as to your bias.

    October 19, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    In other words, President Obama's numbers are on the way back up! Yay!!!

    October 19, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Black Seven

    It's a CNN poll so don't forget to add 7 points to Romney to make up for the CNN bias.

    October 19, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. paul rossi

    CNN poll? And Romney still winning?? Thats not good for us "Obama phone" peeps

    October 19, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. rshanks66

    Will F-ing Florida screw up another important election? Stay tuned...

    October 19, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. victoria

    CNN is posting newspaper andorses Obama but they ignore the fact that @ leading newspapers have endorsed Romney yesterday and today. Nothing about Romney rising in the polls – nothing – only a tight race. Does CNN think the American People are stupid? We can stop CNN and its refusal to be fair – by not watching or reading anything they do. Romney is winning now that he has (not w/CNN's publishing) been seen as the brilliant and capable person he is to lead this country and get our government back without NO ruling from Executive Orders.......

    October 19, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. EndTheFed

    Obamney will continue to erode your liberties in the name of whatever the corporate media says is scary.

    October 19, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. 311311311

    Obamney will continue to erode your liberties in the name of whatever the corporate media says is scary.

    October 19, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. Ethan Tudor W.

    I will not vote for either ONE of these knuclkeheads.

    October 19, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. cooler

    Obama doesn't need Florida to win, only OH, WI, NV, IW

    October 19, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. cheronda

    yeah right, who are the people that are being polled? I'm not buying it

    October 19, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. Byron

    It's all about jobs. Romney at least mentions this a lot. Obama doesn't. It's that simple.

    October 19, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. Rober

    I want to live in a swing state. They get more money spent by both candidates. I live in Nebraska. We vote republican no matter no who runs.

    October 19, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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