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. Miit

    Still laughing, Joe?

    October 19, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. Lu

    The poll only included 681 people, how can they try to predict an entire state, based on that? More over, why is a poll of 681 people listed as BREAKING NEWS?! Whatever, CNN.

    October 19, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Say NO to Romnesia Florida!!
    Don't let the GOP suppress you or intimidate you!
    Don't let all the Koch brothers, Addelson funded political ads dissuade you from what you know is the TRUTH!
    President Obama has our country moving in the right direction: FORWARD!
    401ks are up, housing market up, unemployment down nationwide. He's the ONLY thing standing between us and a plutocracy in this country.
    Bush was a businessman and look what he did to our nation.
    Don't let a many times over multi-millionaire who made his money off of stripping and closing down businesses in this country and shipping jobs overseas come in and finish us off with legislation that will set us back 100 years, and will ONLY benefit his 1% undisclosed "donors".

    Obama 2012.

    October 19, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Grace Kolman

    CNN is becoming FOX Noise now. Florida is not for Romney, this is all a bunch of bologna!

    October 19, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Republican supporter of President Obama

    A voucher system will NOT work. The math from the tax plan and deficit reduction does not add up when you look at what Willard's wants to do. If I was a businessman listening to Willard I would show him to the door. There is no substance, facts, or details for it to stand on.

    To all of the right-wing posters – please look at the facts and read a dictionary to understand the labels you are trying to use. Marxist? Really? Time for a chill pill and relax. They GOP has not done anything in the past 4 years to help me or you for that matter....hence why my support is going across the aisle. Whinning to a TV camera is not leadership. Passing bills, negotiating in good faith, listening to voters, and not bowing to lobbiests (e.g. Grover Norquvist) is a way to lead.

    October 19, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. CallMeBC

    Just about tied, eh? Gee, what a shocker. We might might as well do a coin flip as far as what the average voter knows and doesn't know. There is so much rubbish reporting and misinformation these days that to be well-informed is like joining a secret society. Romney has nonsensical plans, no firm beliefs, has loaded up with a pile of riff-raff from the Bush days, and spouted nothing but rubbish during the first debate - of course he's in contention: this is America, where any fool with money can become President. Gawd....

    October 19, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. Jack

    As age goes up the issue of abortion and contraceptives goes down. You can draw your own conclusions why. The other is the Republican split the vote strategy that says older voters dont have to worry about social security and such.

    If the party has some gains because of it however it shows more about a small percentage of the older electorate only caring about themselves. The GOP would say there are dem's that think the same way. And they would be right. But the age-based voucher program is totally obvious. Whether or not the younger generation has to worry about vouchers is their problem. I hate to say it but in a whole lot of ways we are a country filled with very selfish people.

    October 19, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. liz

    They must have asked all the old white Voters because the Floridians (white&black middle aged ) I know are voting for Obama.

    October 19, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. Bootstomper

    Why are conservative republicans so square? Moderate republicans at least like a little culture but the far right spend there recreational time in church or shooting assault rifles.How boring.

    October 19, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. Republican supporter of President Obama

    I am hoping Floridians will get the message. The R/R may "want" to help you but they frankly only care about your vote. they will do eveything the rich wants and leave you in the wind.

    October 19, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. Penny Wright

    Romney should quit acting like a "victim" and take "personal responsibility" by showing us his tax returns for the last 12 years.

    October 19, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. Brian

    the good news everyone around here in FL is voting for Romney. Neighborhood and area full of Romney signs, nothing for Obumba.

    October 19, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. jack 3

    I hope Obamas foreign policy can be exposed and his lying to the USA snowballs into his demise. He's no good for this country. besides we don't want a liar as president

    October 19, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. DebasisA

    Please vote for Romney if you want to have a better economy.

    October 19, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. King

    Actually BO picked up 2 points.. since the last CNN Poll of Polls..

    October 19, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. 2oong9yce

    Completely false results

    October 19, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. piglet

    these polls mean nothing. It takes in account of .0002% of the population and makes it seem like the whole state was involved.

    October 19, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. founders1791

    It FAR WORSE for Obumbles and the Socialist than the poll states. NO ONE here cares to see another 4 years of this Incompetent Deceiver...... More than ready for a new leader......

    October 19, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. 2oong9yce

    Obama will win Florida

    October 19, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. i_know_everything

    doesn't matter, OH decides it

    October 19, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. Lillie

    I am a senior citizens and I can't beieve the senior citizens are falling for the Romney plan they did with the precription drug program look where you are now.If you do you will be putting your self in a bigger whole with the voucher program,
    Do you really think you can buy insurance to really cover you,and not only that they can pick and choose who they want to cover, That voucher is not going to cover your cover you three years down the line with thier rate increase come on people check it out for yourself

    October 19, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. jonBOY

    florida with some sense. i just dont understand why so many people love obama, so many broken promises. must be the heard mentality. its time we take back our country before the government gets to big and we turn into greece.

    October 19, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. Mike Shoaf

    To all the spinners: attacking President Obama over the terrorist attack, saying that it is not political. They are concerned about the 4 American deaths and want answers. Why aren't they holding hearings and investigating the deaths of dozens of Americans who have died as a result of taking pain shots for spinal pain. Could it be that they can't link this to the president so those dozens of American lives lost don't mean as much to them?

    October 19, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. Calidip

    If those close to the age of reitrement want a voucher program, then by all means, go for it.

    October 19, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. bellenoitr

    Seems like have the population is developing dementia. If the elderly vote Romney in, we'll have more homeless elderly.

    October 19, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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