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. southernwonder

    a republican "field director" has been jailed for voter registration fraud. so little time and so many vote frauds to do for the gop.

    October 19, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Bob

    Florida always has been a tax haven for the very wealthy. It is also home to the lowest paid workers in the country, which makes it attractive to big corporations looking to both avoid paying taxes and a living wage to their employees, What is surprising is that the rich who flourish here are such a small minority that the rest of us almost never see them, while all of our neighbors and coworkers are struggling to get by on their minuscule paychecks. What puzzles me is how the party of the rich can be ahead in the polls. Are Florida's working poor really going to vote for Romney? If they do they will soon find themselves a lot poorer than they are now, and they will deserve it.

    October 19, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. norman salmon

    do you still have that low life candy working for you? i do not concider CNN as a net work. i qvit watching you, since you helped obama elected 4 years ago. most of your people are prduct of affirmitive action, liberal activists. you are anti jews, anti israel. you love criminals, illegals, arabs, etc... you anti america. you send candy- shmendy to help obama. you probably get big money under the table. get rid of her. she never been good any way.

    October 19, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Gregory Faith

    lorida is stocked fiull of OLD PEOPLE. Those numbers are certainly too low for Romney as these people don't know who called them five minutes after they hung up the phone. They do know that Obama Care will kill 49% of them before 2014. ROMNEY 2012!!

    October 19, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Jared

    Romney will win this race. Sorry guys.

    October 19, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Jordan

    "Joy
    A Dream -Yes wouldn't it be nice...if Gov Romney took now Pres Obama in his cabinet if Mr. Romney became President? This would certainly show the world and all these hard nose politicians how America does politics!! I Think Pres Obama would even like that, HE SEEMS TO HAVE A GOOD TIME AROUND Mitt Romney and in all the photos taken they seem to make a good pair together."

    This is possibly the dumbest thing I have read

    October 19, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. A Floridian

    Grow a brain FLORIDA- did we not learn from the after effects of the current Gov you voted in and now regret. Must vote Obama, say NO to the cheatin' lyin' out for themselves politicians.

    October 19, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. mike d

    nice ratings over the last few years cnn,so in the tank for obama,that's why no one watches your network,from soledad obama,i mean obrien,to wolf blitzer,way to liberal,and all your editors and chiefs can keep switching anchors around,cnn is obama headquarters.

    October 19, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. Brian

    In central Florida there is strong support for Gary Johnson – voters want fiscal responsibility and civil rights.

    October 19, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. Dee

    I guess they all must be suffering from a little "ROMNESIA" haha

    October 19, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. calvin

    Regardless of who your favorite is...681 LIKELY VOTERS ??? This isn't a poll, it's a miniscule sampling that could have been taken at a local college. Please don't insult our intelligence, CNN, get some VALID numbers !

    October 19, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. wondering999

    CNN, does your polling include the 25% of US households that do not have landline phones? It doesn't? Then how can anyone take your results seriously?

    October 19, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. Think about

    @John G
    Think about it, it won't matter if the elderly in Florida learn after voting for Romney what it really means because by the next election, they'll be dead and the rest of us will be screwed, left again with the cleanup after low-information voters, lies, and massive political spending subvert democracy...

    October 19, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. WhyCare

    Romney's 47% plus 3.4% of LGBT just added up to re-elect O/B

    October 19, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. sandystorm

    That survey does represent Florida. I've lived here for 28 years and the local economy is practically in ruins. Our local economy is comprised of mostly mom and pop stores. Many of them have closed and our one and only mall is a ghost town. There are so many foreclosed houses for sale, there's no way I can sell my 2 bedroom 1 and a half bath condo for a lousy $32K. The unemployment rate in my rural south central Florida county is now 11%. We can't afford 4 more years of "Hope, Change or Forward!!! We need action...NOW. If not, the last tourist leaving Orlando will need to turn the lights out and lock the door.

    October 19, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. Darrell Burks

    I am voting for Presidet Obama and they did not poll me. So me and others alike make up the 1%.

    October 19, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. Charlie

    Every time a pollster calls, I just tell them " NO. Have a nice day." Then hang up. We will vote, but I am NOT wasting my time with conversations that do not matter. Family time is limited as it is.

    October 19, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. Dee

    but either way.. Florida is a goner.. let em have it! we still have Ohio, Wisconsin, CO and NV! Obama 2012! on pace for atleast 290 electorals! ALL I WANT IS 270 one way or the other!

    October 19, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Scott

    Doesn't matter, check the electoral map. Is all ready all but over.

    October 19, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. MN

    Who in this world believes that CNN is telling the truth? They are so biased....Obama can do no wrong in their eyes. My goodness....are you better off today than you were 4 years ago? NO! What about the economy....it stinks and all the lies he tells....he can't get Romney, so he calls him a liar, when in reality Obama is the LIAR!

    October 19, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. DARNELL

    All the liberal tears are making my day! ROMNEY 2012! NO MORE WELFARE NATION!!

    October 19, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Even Bill Clinton said our economy sucks.....Go Mitt!

    October 19, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. Alan

    This is breaking news?

    October 19, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  24. Yj

    Taking into consideration that Florida is a republican state, Obama is winning big time!

    October 19, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  25. livingston

    Enough with the polls! One group takes a poll and one guy wins – the next group takes a poll and the other guy wins. I bet I could take a poll and find that George Washington is ahead! It has gotten to the point where polls mean nothing anymore. The only 'poll' that counts is the one on election day. All the other's have just become noise.

    October 19, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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