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. southernwonder

    romney's son wanted to go violent on obama. after another briefing on libya to get ready for the 3rd debate, romney pretends his son was being spontaneous

    October 19, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. The Jimmy Leg

    Can we just cancel this election and move on?

    October 19, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. RufusVonDufus

    Ha! Ha! Ha! If CNN has it 49/48 Romney then we all know it is much worse than that for Obama. CNN would never show truthful numbers hurting their boy. Probably more like 54/45 Romney.

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

    Polls schmolls.

    October 19, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. 2oong9yce

    Let me get this in too, CNN is no longer a trusted source.... For reliable journalism. Too redundant and predictable.

    October 19, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. Johnnie

    Florida wouldn't even be close, if Latinos would exercise their right to vote. Obama would win Florida by a landslide. But I guess that is why the poll says "likely voters."

    October 19, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. smithdp

    Yes! Let's go back to the policies of George Bush! Wait , do I have that right?

    October 19, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. New Yorkers against Trump

    a bunch of YAHOOS are living in Florida. anyone who would vote for Romney, especially women, is a complete knucklehead. i just hope the hispanics get out and vote OBAMA!!!!

    October 19, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. RufusVonDufus

    Why are all of my comments awaiting moderation? Am I not allowed to be a Romney supporter on CNN's website?

    October 19, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. founders1791

    It is WORSE than poll suggests for Obumbles and his merry band of Socialist creeps.

    No one down here in SW Florida wants another 4 years of incompetence, division, and racists calling everyone but themselves racists.

    ..................the country has had enough Affirmative Action in the Black House!

    October 19, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. larry banal

    shocker...rednecks and senility

    October 19, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. Brian

    Gotta love the Mitt!

    October 19, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. PTNY

    Brian....you must be on the wrong side of your neighborhood.

    October 19, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. Ozzie

    Let me tell you I'm a Republican and I don't know who is taking the survey, I received phone calls from people asking question and soon I said I'll vote for Obama they hang/up. They only taking the one they vote for Rommey.

    October 19, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. Martin

    Presidential debate in Florida on Monday. Too bad it's about foreign policy.

    One question would sink Romney in Florida debate, were he to answer truthfully "What are your plans for Medicare and Social Security?"

    October 19, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. Get Real

    Who wouldn't want to smack Obama upside the head after the 4 years of nothing he's done, lol.

    October 19, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. jim

    National polls are meaningless. Only polls that matter are state polls. President is elected by the electoral college, not national popular vote. Realclearpolitics.com shows all the latest state polling data and projected electoral votes. It is the best estimates we have.

    October 19, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. Vickie

    Prepare for the return of the hanging chads!!

    October 19, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. 2oong9yce

    Romney CANNOT do squat for this country. I find the notion that he is a very smart guy very overrated. He got lucky and that's that. Move on.

    October 19, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. victoria

    Ronmey is leading – while CNN insists the race is tied – they refuse to give Romney credit for his increased points in the polls. Romney is before the public now thanks to the debates and people see him for the man who looks Presidential and will represent our country w/out apology.

    October 19, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. angryed

    People are waking up to the grim fact that it iis either Romney or 4 more years of what we have seen from Obama.....and we have seen plenty of " historic " moments from Obama

    October 19, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. ML

    I am sure there is an error.... Obama for sure leads in Florida state.

    October 19, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. andyoo

    If he can't fix the economy in last 4 yrs, lets someone else try.

    October 19, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. founders1791

    It is WORSE than poll suggests for Obumbles and his merry band of Socialist creeps.

    No one down here in SW Florida wants another 4 years of incompetence, division, and racists calling everyone but themselves racists.

    ..................the country has had enough Affirmative Action in the White House!

    October 19, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. RufusVonDufus

    Johnnie

    Florida wouldn't even be close, if Latinos would exercise their right to vote. Obama would win Florida by a landslide. But I guess that is why the poll says "likely voters."
    ....................................................................
    Yes, Johnnie, nothing is said about illegal voters!

    October 19, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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