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. John

    Funny.. Every other REAL poll has Romney up by at least 4

    October 19, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. Mike

    Romney has been a walking disaster. During the primary he leaned so incredibly to the far right that he damaged the credibility of the GOP brand. Then, he took a trip to the Middle East which was another disaster. Then the ultimate embarrassment was when he showed up in the UK and was called 'Blunderer in Chief'. He touts himself as the man who can get the country back on track. Yet he's completely out to lunch on women's and social issues. His recipe for the economy - do exactly the same thing that led to the financial crisis in the first place.

    Obama 2012

    October 19, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. chris

    Awesome! Anything is better than that last 4 years. I'd rather bet on the unkown.

    October 19, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. dt

    Hey, can you old farts fill in the right bubble this time? Lol.

    October 19, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. Granger

    Yep, it's starting to fall apart for the Blamer in Chief – Obama. No leadership can exist that blames so much for so long.

    October 19, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. Bayousara

    Well, granny down in Florida probably hasn't even thought what the Romney folks are eager to do to her Soc Sec and Medicare. And I hope she can afford to pay the medical bills for her kids and grandkids, because bye bye to ObamaCare or any care, for that matter. Don't expect your employer to have a nice medical insurance package for you. Actually, you will get what has been paid for by the Kochs and guided by Karl Rove, the American Rasputin.

    October 19, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. lovespandas

    CNN won't tell you that New Hampshire and Iowa have now fallen to Romney!! WooHoo!!!

    October 19, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. BD70

    I am surprised since Romney agrees with Ryan to voucherize medicare. Unless they are all on medicare advantage...which costs more than traditional medicare. Privatized and all you know but subsidized with tax dollars.

    October 19, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Patriot

    Conservative super PACs and outside groups face the very real possibility they’ll have spent $1 billion and failed to elect Mitt Romney or deliver a GOP Senate.
    Don't think the people of Florida are so stupid as to be bought by conservative power grabbers.

    October 19, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. Michelle

    Don't generalize about Floridians. There are plenty of educated, young Obama supporters down here who see through the thinly-veiled Romney lies. Go Obama!

    October 19, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  11. Stephen

    It's beyond me that the elderly could in a bloc vote for Romney when he has promised to trash most everything that sustains their lives. Even though Obama may just win this, I really, truly don't get the hold the GOP has for people in the USA. Every other country has universal health care, non-interventionist military, better education, and so on – why do we keep this up with the GOP in this country – tax cuts and wars, cuts to education, etc.? Romney would be an unmitigated disaster.

    October 19, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  12. G-Man

    Massachusetts: Obama earns 91% support from Massachusetts Democrats, while 95% of the state’s Republicans back Romney. Among voters not affiliated with either political party, Romney leads 53% to 44%. Now it's a matter of who shows up.

    October 19, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. MJ Turtle

    This is a lie and the only way Mitt gets the presidency is if he steals it like W. Bush Jr. in 2004. What a disgrace is society becoming.. Well, we are here in this little planet, we certainly are not going anywhere.

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

    I want a bumper sticker that says "Florida: Bringing the STUPID once again for election season"

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

    People, get out and VOTE! If you believe that we have a representative republic... you're deluded. We now have a virtual effective plutocracy and all this country need now is to elect, or buy, a president and a right-winged Supreme Court to cement into a full blown fascist oligarchy, in the R/R team at the helm, an all pure Libertarians’ aristocrat ideology philosophy, backed up with the Rove/Grover team with his trusted financial adviser, Grover Norquist and his "Czar of Propaganda" Karl Rove.

    Remember, Romney & Ryan are just the Bush’s 3.0 plan.
    Vote like your life depend on it... and it just could be our best and last opportunity to save our democracy!
    Remember, let’s not forget the bail-out by Dub’ya during the 2002 Lake Winter Olympics debacle… No doubt, Mitt’s supporters like to point to his “SUC-cess” and taking credit for “Saving” the Olympics, only able to do it with a $1.6 BILLION US Fed aid. Not to mention Romney’s other Bain Capital, Inc. Fed bail-out with $10 Million of Bush’s help… that was just chump change.

    GOP= Greedy Oligarchy Plutocracy!

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

    I believe some of the change in the polls was caused by the email that David Seigel, President and CEO of the time-share company Westgate Resorts and its parent company, Central Florida Investments sent his 8,000 employees.

    In a couple of blogs I read the public was outraged against Seigel's email. It will be interesting on November 6th to see how the vote goes in central Florida where this topic was the most active.

    October 19, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. deb

    CNN the real poll numbers are 50% Obama and 43% Romney.

    October 19, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. We vote for better times

    Sorry, Obama had already won the instant that the republican party brought forth the clown parade and then settled for Mitt to be their representative. I don't want Obama anymore than the next conservative as I am one, But Mitt has a top down tunnel vision and though that will make the economy chug along it will also increase its volitility to a dangerous and unrecoverable place. Obama spend thrift and redistibution design is bad within its inception and will not achieve the desired effect, but at least it is addressing something that needs work and won't literally implode the middle class, and financially destroy this country, Although the future is getting bleaker by the moment looking at these two.What can we really do??

    October 19, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  19. Vince

    I live in florida and voting for obama. No one ever asked me to be in a poll. This means nothing.

    October 19, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Florida Voter

    George Zimmerman types are killing off all of Obama voters here in Florida.

    October 19, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. harryj89

    I just love these responses from Obama supporters still believing the caricature of Romney that the Obama campaign made up. Ignorance is bliss I guess.

    October 19, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. Mchael

    Sad times ahead for America if Romney wins.
    We will be the ugly Americans in Europe.
    China won't trust Romney.
    Too bad for future generations.

    October 19, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. cnnmembuh

    Now all he has to do is close the deal in OH and PA and BO is done.

    October 19, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. DARNELL

    It's so funny to see clueless liberals say stuff like "Romney has been a walking disaster", because Romney is now ahead of Obama in most polls. Denial is a terrible thing, folks.

    October 19, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. Chris

    You guys might want to check that math. Even with the +/- 4 margin of error, this means absolutely nothing in the big scheme of the electoral college. People outside of the U.S. reading all the daily polls still have Obama at a 77% chance of winning the election. Dear republicans, it's a shame you can't vote against your own dude because Americans aren't allowed to technically bet on the election but think of it this way: A bunch of people around the world are going to make a lot of money when Romney loses so it's not a total loss. He's finally figured out a way to help spur the economy!

    October 19, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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