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. Brian

    John,

    Fox news is not a "REAL" poll.

    October 19, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. enuftrashtalk

    'As always, keep in mind that the poll does not, and cannot, predict the outcome of the election in November.'

    Oh, well thank you for pointing that out. I gather you think your readership is chock full of intellectuals.

    October 19, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. David

    Do what is right. Vote Obama. Why anyone would consider voting an elitist who favors the 1% into office is beyond me. You are voting against your best interest. Your voting for a candidate who believes that the middle class should do the hard work while the 1% reaps the benefit. OBAMA 2012

    October 19, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. clayusmcret

    In 2008 obama ran on what he WOULD do and everyone saw in him what they each wanted to see. In 2012 obama has to run on what he DID do and everyone now sees in him what he really is. Reality bites, eh?

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

    this is meaningless only because its the electoral college that matters. See Presidential election 2000

    October 19, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. enuftrashtalk

    'As always, keep in mind that the poll does not, and cannot, predict the outcome of the election in November.'

    Oh, well thank you for pointing that out. I gather you think your readership is chock full of intellectuals.

    October 19, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  7. Rich

    We can only hope the poll turns out to be the final results for this election. The economy cannot take another 4 years of democrat leadership. Conservatives (romney not one of them) need to keep getting into office, and if a conservative can't, get the next best a republican.

    October 19, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. The GOP need to pack up and leave

    PLEASE don't tell me that Florida is going to mess up again. They screwed the country in 2000 and we had 8 years of a dictatorial regime. They can't do that to America again.

    October 19, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. Katie

    And on NPR they talked to a couple different speculators who have an election voting exchange that people can buy shares of the candidates in – if their candidate wins, they win money. One of them has been accurately predicting the presidential winner (and the winner of all 50 states) for several elections now. Romney's shares go for forty cents, meaning they predict he has a 40% chance of winning, and Obama's shares go for sixty cents, meaning he has a 60% chance of winning. And Obama is predicted to take all the swing states.

    October 19, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. Joe

    Fox tells us not to put too much weight in these pools as they are obviously skewed. So Obama must be really ahead.
    I think I'll just wait for the Nov 7th poll.

    October 19, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. JPX

    God, Floridians are so stupid. Don't the elderly realize that Romney is awful for them?

    October 19, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. Greg

    May the almighty God help us if the people haven't learned the perilous dangers of putting another Republican in office.Don't they remember the freaking eight horrible, terrible years under George W.!!!!!

    October 19, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. Dan

    The fact that Florida is this close is showing that Romney made a major mistake. Romney should have spent weeks in Florida locking it up and then gone to other states. Terrible decision by Romney and his campaign staff and it's showing that he learned nothing.

    Instead, Romney sends Ryan to talk to the Cleveland Browns where Ryan tries to act like he knows football players. Instead of helping Romney, Ryan ends up insulting every football fan in the area. Not to mention insulting both Oklahoma and Texas.

    On top of that, Ryan does this in front of an All Pro Left Tackle who is from Wisconsin, which is becoming a running joke and costing Romney dearly among men in Wisconsin

    October 19, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. SugarKube

    OUCH. Obama was double digits ahead before the blowout in Denver.

    October 19, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. Trey

    when Obama's in the lead by 1 point, Cnn calls Obama winning. When it is Romney, it is called "basically a tie"

    No bias right? Fair and balanced, right?

    /throws up from disgust...

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

    All I can say is go ahead America vote for Romney and you can be sure within 2 years we'll be in Iran and thousands of our troops will be lost there just like the last Republican publicity stunt....

    October 19, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  17. Howard

    Oh NO.. That's awful if its accurate.

    October 19, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  18. REALASWHOLE

    A lot of old retired people in Florida. Ones with deep pockets. Of course they will vote for Romney so their taxes will go down. The problem is that the less fortunate old folks will get crappier medical care and will literally die sooner only because a certain president might get elected over another. Their lifespan is literally on the line.

    October 19, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  19. nc1965

    THE REAL CLEAR POLITICS ELECTORAL MAP. The toss up states

    Where votes really matter. Obama leads in 8 out of 10.

    PA (20 electoral votes) – RCP Average 49.7 44.7 Obama +5.0

    OH (18 electoral votes) – RCP Average 48.4 46.0 Obama +2.4

    MI (16 electoral votes) – RCP Average 48.6 43.6 Obama +5.0

    WI (10 electoral votes) – RCP Average 50.0 47.2Obama +2.8

    IA (6 electoral votes) – RCP Average 49.3 46.0 Obama +3.3

    NV (6 electoral votes) – RCP Average 49.0 46.0 Obama +3.0

    VA (13 electoral votes) – RCP Average 48.4 47.6 Obama +0.8

    NH (4 electoral votes) – RCP Average 48.3 47.5 Obama +0.8

    CO (9 electoral votes) – RCP Average 47.9 47.7 Romney +0.2

    FL (29 electoral votes) – RCP Average 49.3 46.8 Romney +2.5

    YOU DO THE MATH

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

    We haven't even voted yet and I'm just so done with this election bs.....

    October 19, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. St. James Place

    Only is Willard can win Ohio, Iowa, and Nevada does he become president. That is not going to happen. Remember those words " I don't care about the 47%. They will come back to bite Willard in the backside.

    OBAMA 2012

    October 19, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. Johnny America

    What was the poll like before the 2nd debate?

    October 19, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. Tyrone in NYC

    The people of Florida just like the rest of America will absolutely get what they paid for if they make an uneducated vote for Romney. You will have been bought by 17 billionaires and operatives who have the scruples of a wiesel. I will spend the next four years looking after "me and mine" while your all struggling to make ends meet as Romney and the Tea Baggers look after their own and destroy the country from wihin like Lincoln said would happen.

    October 19, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Ohiomom

    I know lots of people in Ohio voting for Romney. Our jobless rate is above the national average and many are still losing homes. I had been a democrat but now I believe the country needs a change.

    October 19, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. Orlando guy

    Obama should do the right thing by admitting failure, resign today and let Romney get in there now so he can fix this mess.

    October 19, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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