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. Dan

    CNN again trying to get ratings for their political shows by telling us its a dead heat race. We all know Hussein will win.

    October 19, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. dt

    I wonder how much diabeetus care is needed in Florida... Lol I hope Romney gets elected just for the biggest I told ya so in history!

    October 19, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. GaryB

    Nothing really new here. Florida was always going to be a close call. Romney's surge here after the first debate was more about people who already leaned Republican (and would probably never vote for Obama) finally deciding it was OK to vote for Romney. You had a few people who were leaning Obama (but would probably never vote for Romney) who had their confidence shaken after the first debate but have now come back to the Obama fold. The race is going to come down to who can get their supporters to the polls and who can manage to get the very few remaining true uncommitted voters to come out for their side. Hard to see how either guy could win Florida by more than a percentage point barring some sort of catastrophic event.

    October 19, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. bookgirl

    Well, one thing for sure, if Romney wins there will be no shortage of jokes for the next for years because the man's a blooming idiot. In a sense, it doesn't matter who wins because really our government is broken and American has its best days behind it. Any country that represents its people so poorly is on its way out. Who cares anymore?

    October 19, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. mowey

    Romney is meanie.

    October 19, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. Dumbpolitics

    Norman Salmon, Are you related to the guy who has that comercial mostly about the 47% who he thinks lives off his taxes. He's voting for Mr. Robme because he doesn't want to pay any more taxes. You know the guy he came from a comunist country. He makes alot of money here and just like almost all the rich guys he doesn't want to pay his fair share for making that money here. Funny thing is though I see that comercial almost every 5 mins. I think it would have been cheaper to pay the extra taxes. He probably has billions. You should look him up.

    October 19, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. Draxta

    Listen to the music!! Oh boy, you dems are sure doing alot of rationalizing! Obumbler is on his way out!!

    October 19, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. ll

    This poll shows now gender gap...this poll is skewed.

    October 19, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. Obama Castro

    I live in Tallahassee Florida and I Will vote for Romney.

    October 19, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. jlf

    unfortunately the President, like the Queen of England, is just a figurehead of our government/country. Congress governs our country, and if the majority in the hHouse and Senate is not the same party as the President then we are sr***** no matter who gets in.

    October 19, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. mowey

    Old white men like Romney.

    October 19, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. nilla

    Wow, they surveyed 681 people. That's conclusive!

    October 19, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. daveinla

    Niether candidate will do anything to fix the trade problems of this nation. They do not know the people. They do not come from manual labor. The don't undestand the value of a good manufacturing job. The condescend to everyone with their Harvard backgrounds and university liberal social issue left and suck up to the big money right.

    October 19, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  14. t

    CNN will continue to keep this race close, the closer people perceive it, the higher rating they will have. Let's be honest, its over Romney has already lost there's no making up ground. Game set match.

    October 19, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. Charles Bowen

    Obama is ahead you can not trust this poll or any pole that is taken by the CNN/REPUBLICAN/LIARS Party ....I am Republican and I would never vote for these clowns Romney/Ryan..... My wife just had a brain tumor removed and the only way we could get insurance was because with Obama Care they take preexisting conditions.... Don't cut your own throat Give Obama Your Vote.... Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    October 19, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  16. JamesDean

    Bye Bye Obumbler....even CNN has to admit you are losing, has to be very painful for them. In all actuality if CNN says Romney is ahead by 1 point that really means he is ahead by 5 or 6....The nightmare is almost over.

    October 19, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  17. John G.

    Mitt makes a few talking points about giving everybody a tax cut, creating jobs, beating up on China, and America getting back to being the world's policeman and a certain segment of the population just loves it. He provides no details, just rhetoric. The founding father's created the electoral college because of this; there are so many stupid people out there that will vote for snake oil. I didn't think it was right when I was in high school, but now I'm beginning to understand...

    October 19, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. Joe Schmoe

    @tstorm92 Quote – "This is a man who gloats about gutting small companies, sending the jobs overseas and then makes millions on the backs of the miseries of others....blah!!" --– Obviously you're not referring to the revival of Staples (90,000 employees) or Sports Authority (15,000) or Domino's (145,000) but then again facts aren't relevant in this election any way.

    October 19, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. spynnal

    Rasmussen polls are as slanted as the media these days. Ignore polls. Get out and be certain to vote, and take a stand on your country's future.

    October 19, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. LMC

    So 49% of Floridians don't mind that Romney is lying to them, won't give them details on how he plans to "save" America, and doesn't believe women are smart enough to make their own health decisions? Amazing!

    October 19, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. Sorry Charlie

    You can tell when CNN gets nervous about the election, the O campaign turns on full force. It's over, Romney has won this election. Now all there is left to do is pick the cabinet.

    October 19, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. jrc

    at least we know where Obama stands, You have a bunch of what ifs and might be's with Romney, always evading the questions with round about answers and nothing but criticisms, I'll take Obama.

    October 19, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. Al Gore

    When CNN says Romney is ahead by one he is actually ahead by 10.

    October 19, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. JamesDean

    Most of the 47% is too lazy to vote anyway...Romney Landslide.

    October 19, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. spynnal

    Rasmussen polls are as arbitrary as modern media, which is to say, not at all.

    Ignore polls. Ignore media. Get out and cast your vote, and stake a claim in your country's future.

    October 19, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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