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. Kane

    @us_1776
    It's not surprising, considering the preponderance of southerners in northern Florida, and the large population of elderly white people who are led around by scare tactics.

    October 19, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. nmarc

    Polling was a topic of discussion today on the Morning Joe show. The premise was that with all the changes in telecommunications, and information access, that using traditional polling methods such as are being used in the 2012 race have eroded the accuracy of results regardless of who your guy is.

    October 19, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. AJ

    The funny thing about this poll is Florida is full of Repugnats. I actually know a Repug that will not come back to California from Florida till the election is over hahaha. You repugs is funny people. He is still your president don't forget that ever repugs.

    October 19, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. FactCheck

    The great awakening is finally happening.
    ----
    Considering that Romney had a 6 point lead in Florida just a few days ago, that is exactly what is happening.

    October 19, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. progASSive_libbie

    cnn cant even overcome their sampling bias to show barry in the lead........better wake the dead libbies.....ur gunna need them

    October 19, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. SugarKube

    The seniors in Florida do not want Obama stealing 716 Billion from Medicare to pay for the unfunded in his ObamaKare.

    October 19, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. Vendetta

    Well, it would be a dreadful for America if Romney wins the election. False promises, doesn't care about 47% thats half of America, he just wants to be the President badly. People often ask what has Obama done – Well when Obama was elected America was in a Trillion Dollar deficit, ongoing 2 wars, Auto-mobile Industry on verge of collapsing, 80000 people losing jobs every month, Bin laden still hiding, Banks collapsing, fore-closures and bankruptcies being filed at a sky-high rate. This to settle down would take minimum 15 years and maximum 20 years and you want it to be done in 4 years, forget about it. What Obama is doing is building a foundation and a sustainable model for the future which will take this country's progress gradually.
    Lets see what will happen if Romney wins, Wallstreet sanctions will be removed and pro wall street policies will be introduced, there will be a flurry of jobs and economy will rise but math does not add up. As in the coming 5-7 years the bubble will burst and there will be again a meltdown of jobs and economy. And the same cycle will repeat.

    October 19, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. 2012liberal

    The scared elderly ppl n florida gv n2 the fear mongering of the gop. I hp they all read the endorsment of the biggest paper n florida, tampa bay times, for obama. Utah biggest paper, morman capital of this country, salt lake city sentinal,endorses obama and denver post 4 obama. Let's get it right again america. 4 more years

    October 19, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. spynnal

    13+ pages of people fighting over predictions. Sad.

    Just vote. Ignore the media, ignore the polls, ignore the fighting party-centered pundits.

    The only way your opinion matters is by casting your vote. Everything else is meaningless conjecture, hype and spin.

    October 19, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. Kevin

    I have a feeling these polls primarily sample older people. I know our house is full of Obama voters, but we have caller ID and use the heck out of it this time of year. You won't see us reflected in any polls.

    October 19, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. Jeff

    NC1965, Unfortunately you know nothing of polls, they call and call until they get a certain number of minorities

    October 19, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. spynnal

    13+ pages of people fighting over predictions. Sad.

    Just vote. Ignore the media, ignore the polls, ignore the fighting party-centered pundits.

    The only way your opinion matters is by casting your vote. Everything else is meaningless conjecture, hype and spin.

    October 19, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. DrJames

    Like that geezer Romney would actually win.

    October 19, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. SugarKube

    The upcoming foreign policy debate over Obama's lies about Libya's 9/11 pre-planned terror attack should drive the last few nails in Obama's coffin.

    October 19, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. ralph Petrillo

    Whoever wins the last debate will be President of the United States.

    October 19, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. CNNuthin

    We knew Florida was has Brain Dead Zombies, but who knew there were so many?

    October 19, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. mins

    Romney cant run his own state!!! Mass us 47 th on the jobs list. thats the bottom folks. if he cant fix mass how can he fix an entire country. he is full of lies and has you all bamboozled

    October 19, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. Rudy Rudziewicz

    That's why it's called Flori DUH.

    October 19, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. Talking_Facts

    Gotta love all the factless statements...vote for Romney/Ryan and they will kill Social Securiy and Medicad. vote for Romney/Ryan and vote for tax breaks for the rich and allow the middle class and poor to get nothing.Really?!?!? Have any of these people read, educated themselves and researched?!?! Please tell me that you vote for Obama because you believe in the direction that this country is heading, that you like the Obamacare act,etc but please stop with all the factless statements. I love the fact about the debt and not having to blame Obama. Yeah Obama inherited the country with debt and he has increased the debt as well. Pathetic!!

    October 19, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  20. whatsup

    Is it time for CNN to run more stories about how polls don't really matter?

    October 19, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. Outdoor Girl

    Romney offers the same kind of immediate gratification that the Republicans usually offer in order to get votes. The economy is slowly but steadily growing and likely won't face the failures we experienced following 8 years of a Republican president and 12 years of a Republican dominated congress. Some folks are still suffering but others are experiencing greater stability or job growth. Fools will expect to see a grand improvement over a short period that will also evaporate overnight at the first small crisis. The economic improvement we are seeing now will stick around because it is broad based and not isolated to the rich. Romney had no interest in the middle class and poor nor did he ever have an interest in women until he thought giving them lipservice might bring votes. Those who are fooled by a quickie with Mitt will have the opportunity to repent in leisure.

    October 19, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. Face it Romney will lose!!

    Come on Florida, you can't be that dumb!! Obama 2012!!

    October 19, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. Dean

    I can not think of one sensible reason why anyone could possibly even consider voting for Obama. That is, unless they want to see the country destroyed.

    October 19, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. dscon

    Pull that puppet pacifier out of your mouth........................

    October 19, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. darknesscrown

    So what this means is that neither candidate has a lead. It's a statistical tie. Why is this news?

    October 19, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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