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. nc1965

    Do you know what's great about polls? They don't take minority voters into account.

    Minorities generally don't answer calls that they don't recognize, thus most don't respond to these d a m n polls.

    This is why you Conservative got a November surprise in the 2008 election when Obama cleaned McCain's clock.

    So take Obama's poll numbers and add 10 points.

    October 19, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. steve

    Romney as all republicans including Regan will kill our economy favor the rich and widen the gap between the have and have nots...and those who blame Obama for the debt not understanding the two wars Bush purposely left off the books does not deserve a vote

    October 19, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. JeffreyB

    Blamer in Chief will still be blaming everyone else when he's moving back to Chicago.

    October 19, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. Dave

    If you want war with Iran, a tax increase, and a second crash worse than 2008 then vote for Romney. Doesn't seem like a difficult choice all.

    October 19, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. Namekcype

    Wishful thinking. This is the only poll (and lacks all credibility) that shows the president up. Strange that it comes from the source that lacks even a shred of integrity.

    October 19, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. jean

    FLORIDA wants to break free

    October 19, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. Equalizer

    Hey, Granger, I am assuming you are seeing a lot of leadership qualities in Romney, right?

    October 19, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. David

    No one poll can tell you anything substantial. Though I do think Florida will go to Romney because after all it is still the red neck south. All I care about is Ohio and it ain't so good for "Let em go Bankrupt" Mittens.

    October 19, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. RealDeal

    The great awakening is finally happening. The American public is realizing that the empty suit president can talk all day (better with prompter than live) but is unable to get anything done. He is the greatest divider this country has seen and a disgrace of a president. He does not even represent the Blacks.

    October 19, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Orlando guy

    Hey JPX: Calling Florida stupid? How about the 9% US unemployment rate? Think all those people are happy? How about the masses that are just getting by? Think they are happy? You are ignorant.

    October 19, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. Steve S

    Unless early senility has set in for most of Florida's Seniors, one has to wonder how they feel about Romney/Ryan wanting to dismember their safety net (Social Security and Medicare)?

    October 19, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. Prof

    Wow even if Romney wins Florida and South Car., he is not going to win the election. How pathetic

    October 19, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Victor Hayes

    Florida elected Rick Scott - Enough Said!

    October 19, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Everyone needs to get out the vote for Romney regardless where they live. If you are a Romney supporter in NY or CA, help to get out the vote in swing states for Romney. Do not sit idle while America declines!

    October 19, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. SugarKube

    The seduced are awakening.

    October 19, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. Orlando guy

    Hey JeffreyB: You are right. Obama will be fired and he will blame Bush.

    October 19, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. Teri Simpkins

    A poster named Chris said he'd rather have the unknown than 4 more years of Obama. Problem is, Chris, that Romney ISN'T an unknown at all. We have 4 years worth of knowledge from his years as Governor of Massachusetts. Do the research and see what people there say. Read the comments from legislators in MA from then. That tells you how he'll govern the US...and it's not a pretty picture.

    October 19, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  18. MakesSense

    Meanwhile, Gov Scott continues his voter suppression efforts. Voters being targeted for removal from the polls just before the election have the following demographics: 1: Properly Registered 2: Democrat 3: Alive and well.

    October 19, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. FactCheck

    Obama does not need Florida at all to reach 270.
    Romney can't get to 270 without Florida.

    You do the math (for you wingnuts "math" is that thing where you add and substract... oh, just go back to Honey Boo Boo).

    October 19, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. Ec

    Romney has no jobs plan. His plan for the economy is to continue tax breaks for the only groups that don't need them. Obama's jobs plan will work and is similar to FDR's, but he can't get it past the block-anything-Obama GOP majority.

    October 19, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. Don

    Florida knows all too well that every vote counts if you count every vote.

    October 19, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  22. Orlando guy

    Hey Steve S: Check your facts. Romney/Ryan is the only solution. You are a fool.

    October 19, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. Brian in DC

    Suck it Obama.

    October 19, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  24. pumanoir

    Some peoples are stupid and unable to do their own diligence on the issues and not reading the actual swings state paper and listening to current residence. As an INDEPENDENT I have already made up my mind but OBAMA has more grounds and way ahead of the ELECTORAL VOTES on ROMNEY. FYI. TRY To remember the GORE and Bush election, its the electoral college votes that matters. Also women are fueling & siding more towards OBAMA. Romney Agendas are becoming too Radical that he is shifting and all places and that IS A ISSUE ON WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO GET. USE YOUR BRAIN & DON'T LET YOURSELF BE DECEIVED BY THE GOP.

    October 19, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  25. SugarKube

    The more people learn about Romney the further Obama tanks in the polls.

    October 19, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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