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. troy

    This new poll shows that Romney's bounce is losing its steam. Just a few days ago, Romney was up by 7 points in Florida. Now its basically tied. Obama is coming back...

    October 19, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Sour Diesel

    Florida is full of rednecks. No surprise there.

    October 19, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. fm

    Cnn is becoming fox coz of John King....

    October 19, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Wile E

    Really? They were able to poll all of the likely voters in Florida? Congrats to them, that is an amazing accomplishment.

    October 19, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Polar Bear

    Ah, maybe the Idiocracy is waking up and finally realizing, before it's too late, what an absurdity it is to have Obama in the White House. Maybe we will save ourselves from the shrill, obnoxious, self-absorbed libs.

    October 19, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Robert B

    I voted for Pres.Obama last election as an independant.Frankly I have been dissapointed.I watched and listen to Gov.Romney and I really don't think he is worthy of my vote. I have decided to give Pres.Obama more time and I hope more Floridians,who make less then fifty thousand dollars a year will vote for the president as well.Lets not forget,many big-gun Republicans weren't on board with Gov.Romeny until they were seeing the president running away with the election.

    October 19, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. jb

    The 70% people in his own state (Massachusetts) do not trust and vote for Romney, why should we???

    October 19, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. JC

    Floridian Senoirs gonna have buyer remorse when they see how much really cares abot thier social security and medicare when he flips flops on them

    October 19, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Adi

    xfiler93
    Not good news for the DEAR LEADER. Hopefully, common sense will prevail and send this socialist/marxist back to Chicagoland where he and his minions belon
    ========================================================================================
    I sincerely hope that you know the difference between socialist and marxist. Its like saying "Oh, Christians/Muslims believe in jesus Christ". I really fear for the country when people like you cant even be consistent with their accusations.

    October 19, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. whatever

    Why don't you name 3rd part candidates in these polls CNN? What are you afraid of? Its time to get out of the bed with the Dems and Repubs!

    October 19, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Obama will be victorious once again, trust me,

    October 19, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. 4-12

    Romney is Paying CNN

    October 19, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. jose

    ya and Tagg Romney has investments in the voting machines that are going to be used in Ohio, and other states that are vital for Romney to win and I cant believe there is no investigation going on about this?

    October 19, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. Not this time

    12 recognized swing vote states and CNN waste the last 3 days only polling Florida? Why would that be? Could it be because if they take all the swing states into consideration.. Obama is ahead and is going to win? Yep.. CNN has to keep this close to keep people watching Wolf give us one state at a time.. and announcing that after a poll showing 46%-39% is a tie.

    October 19, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Dan

    It just goes to show that not even CNN can get Obama reelected!

    October 19, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Mary M

    Florida is a mess! Please remind us what positive contributions this state ever makes? Oh wait... there are none.

    October 19, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. dixie

    florida: where when you got nothin to lose – you vote for a loser.

    October 19, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. SoundofGod

    Who on earth would vote for Obama?

    What a bunch of wackos.

    October 19, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. txan

    Pocketbook issues sway Florida women? They must have an urge to have their pocketbooks picked dry by the R&R con artists. No wonder gullible seniors are scammed all of the time.

    October 19, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. Truth

    Obama is in the lead from behind, right Democratic News Network?

    October 19, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Brandon Mayville

    To me, all polls are a joke. How can you ask 1000 people a question and then extrpolate the results to say this is how the rest of the people will vote.

    October 19, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. Trent

    Romney will pull Florida, unless there is a disaster of some kind in the next 3 weeks, or unless the population suddenly starts watching and believing the media more.

    But it's Ohio that matters. Tell us about Ohio. A few thousand votes there will determine the country's fate for the next 4 years.

    October 19, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. Kimberly

    Are you people in the States INSANE?? Mitt Romney?? Best country in the world...pppsssttt. Whatever!

    October 19, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Jeff

    "Finally Floridians woke up to the reality that Romney/Ryan is the answer to getting our country back to working, families back to making a steady salary, no more spending crazy and borrowing crazy. "

    Ummm, you know that Romney was actually winning in Florida by more before the second debate right? So in reality they are not closer to getting what you want. Know your facts before you post..thanks

    October 19, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. Fubarack

    The end of an error is near.

    October 19, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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