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. Anonymous

    Obama doesn't need Florida to win. The tipping point states in this election are Ohio and Virginia. If Obama wins either of them, then he's got a great chance. If he wins both, then he's won for certain. If Romney takes both then it's over for Obama. I'm so confident in this that I won't even stay up to watch the rest of the results after Ohio and Virginia are reported.

    October 19, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. us_1776

    You would think that after the tea bag governor of Florida was elected and became the Worst Governor in the History of Florida with a 19% rating that the voters in Florida would wake up to the damage that the GOP has done to Florida.

    But, NO. They're right back at it again. And wanting to elect another of these idiot Republicans who will decimate what's left of the middle-class in Florida.

    Florida has to be the dumbest state in the union.

    .

    October 19, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. NoweBama2012

    Romney already won after the first debate. Obama is DONE.

    October 19, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. strangerq

    Dream -Yes wouldn't it be nice...if Gov Romney took now Pres Obama in his cabinet if,,,,,

    ^ Won't happen because Mitty will likely lose Florida and even if he wins Florida he will still lose the election.

    There is no electoral college math right now, that can show Romney winning.

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

    If you vote for Mitt Florida seniors-good for you when he takes your monthly Social Security check. You will be hungry and poor.

    October 19, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. tstorm92

    It"s sad to think anyone would vote for Romney after he said he would do away with medicare and privatize social security. Romeny is a selfish monster who'se only agenda is to ship jobs oversease amd make millions of dollars on the misery of others.

    October 19, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. Scott

    Who all these Romney supporters, honestly I don't know one person voting for him haha

    October 19, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. scmaize

    People who care about America will be voting for President Obama.

    October 19, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. Andy

    In politics, I don't trust anyone until it's over.
    That means both candidates and voters

    October 19, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. Chat Pata

    Let the chads begin

    October 19, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. Joe Schmoe

    Rather interesting how the debates used to have little if any bearing on the election until the recent rise of the biased Liberal media. Once the American people had a chance to see the candidates without the slant of the Leftist propaganda machine, Romney has steadily pulled ahead. Soledad O'Brien should be fired for lack of even basic journalistic integrity!

    October 19, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  12. Deelos

    This is delusional – Romney will take Florida by 5pts. Sorry CNN. Ohio is closer, still a toss up.

    October 19, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. gravis

    To all you intelligent people. Remember back in school days how fun it was to get excellent grades and scoff at all the other morons who couldn't handle simple high school math, science, or English? Well, those simpletons and fools are all grown up, haven't become any smarter, and unfortunately vote. This is why we're stuck with tea party nonsense, and why this election is even close. Well, please make sure you get to the voting booth in November to ensure an Obama landslide.

    America thanks you.

    October 19, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. Ron

    Rassmussen poll is not valid since the president of Rassmussen took a cruise with Karl Rove and other top Republicans. Karl Rove has Rassmussen and Gallup in his pocket. This poll is much more credible. People can Google '538' and go to that site for the most complete poll analysis.

    October 19, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. sm

    What a great news. I was so impressed at Romney's funny and moving speech last night at the Charity Dinner. I sincerely hope voters realize that our economy is at serious risk. Please see beyond race and gender issues. If we cannot revive our economy, nothing else will matter. Please see the big picture

    October 19, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. tstorm92

    It's tragic to think anyone would vote for Romeny when he has boasted that he'd end medicare and privateze social security. This is a man who gloats about gutting small companies, sending the jobs overseas and then makes millions on the backs of the miseries of others....blah!!

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

    Obama is the much better and stronger candidate with a way better vision for the future. Obama literally saved the car industry, prevented a Great Depression, and has the economy moving in the right direction. He has led with a steady hand. Romney on the other hand has changed his position on just about every issue every few minutes it seems. However, more concerning than that, he wants to put in place the same policies which brought the economy to the brink of collapse. These include deregulation, tax cuts for the wealthy, and no way to pay for any of it.

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

    Florida is a backward state, I dont visit that state because people seem scary looking.

    October 19, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. Heavyarms

    Romney == Obama

    Obama == Romney

    (WAKE UP PEOPLE)

    October 19, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. Joe Schmoe

    Rather interesting how the debates used to have little if any bearing on the election until the recent rise of the biased Lib3ral m3dia. Once the American people had a chance to see the candidates without the slant of the Leftist propaganda machine, Romney has steadily pulled ahead.

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

    and stocks went down sharply

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

    Polls are worthless other than giving the media a new story to hype every day. The only worry is that they may influence the weak-minded sheeple that want to be on the "winning" side. The only "poll" that matters is the one on November 6th, and I can't wait for that one so we can get this over with.

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

    Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on everything from staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks.
    $1.4 billion is equal to spending seven times Mitt Romney’s entire net-worth every year. Now, can we please get back to talking about the evil, freeloading rich, who didn’t build that.

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

    I am young, I do not own a house phone, I am voting for Gary Johnson. Most young people vote Democrat or independent, and most young people are not polled. Old people who have lived in the same place for years and have house phones are more likely to be polled. So I'd wager that the people that get polled are more likely to be older and Republican, and even with this being the case, its close to a tie. As someone who lives in Florida, I believe a majority of the popular vote in Florida will probably be in Obama's favor. But I believe the electoral college in Florida will probably be in Romney's favor because Rick Scott and most politicians here don't have high moral standards, so they will make sure the electoral college supports their team, even if it contradicts the desires of a majority of Florida's population.

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

    @southernwonder; you really don't want to go there if your only argument at this point is to accuse republican's of voter fraud. The history books and mug shots of democrats convicted of voter fraud would take all the way up to election day to discuss.

    October 19, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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