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. beevee

    The rich seniors in florida may be thinking that Romney will let them kepp their money and wontcut their taxes even though he more recently that he would. gullible idiots live in florida.

    October 19, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. Math is key

    Even without FL, Obama can win the election if the President takes Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin. DO THE MATH!

    October 19, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. weez

    Whats with these POLLS??????...do they really represent all of over 300 million americans???..I MEAN REALLY..wake up people stop listening to the MEDIA AND THEIR POLLS.

    POLLS DON'T MEAN "JACK"!!!!!!!

    October 19, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Mark

    Florida is the dumbest state in the union.

    October 19, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. Freedom Annie

    Any person who depends on Medicare and Social Security is suicidal to vote for Romney! I live in Florida and I am voting for OBAMA

    October 19, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. Jan

    Can't believe the people in the state of Fla. DON'T like S.S. and Medicare. If Romney/Ryan getts elected it will be the Republicans dream come true. To get rid of S.S. and Medicare.

    October 19, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. ExRepublican

    When romney take away seniors medicare and social secuirty they be crying like baby that Romney trick them.
    Wake up Florida dont let Romney fool this election.

    October 19, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. Terri

    Why on earth is this "BREAKING NEWS"!!! ?

    October 19, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. pete

    Much better endorsement than Romney for from the Orlando newspaper, which basically said "listen, lets try romney for 4 years, and if he sucks, we can put in someone else."

    October 19, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. troy

    Old white people will go to their graves with their prejudices.

    October 19, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. ken

    If Romney were to get in watch the whole world go into a deep recession, maybe even a depression, and there certainly will be more wars. This is getting scary because it is real, wake up America and don't be fooled by Romney's words.

    October 19, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. Boston Guy

    With all the white elderly people living there this is not news. Florida will vote for the GOP even if they have to rig the election again.

    October 19, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. jake

    I am sooo excited! I really wanna see Romney win this. It's so obvious that if he sticks to all his "plans" he's going to run the US into the ground and I am curious what he actually is going to do. I only hope the effects on the rest of the world (especially Germany) will be not too severe.

    October 19, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. troy

    Romney's so called bounce is losing its steam. He's falling nationally, in Florida, and New Hampshire. Looks like the 2nd debated was a winner for President Obama.

    October 19, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. GlueckAuf

    "The president has a narrow 49%-47% edge among women voters...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.

    Yes, it means more Florida women are beginning to see the economic realities of a Nation under Obama than fall for the bribe of free contraceptives.

    Free Pills may win some women's votes, but I suspect they'll be of little solace when our currency collapses trying to pay for them and the near-infinite other "free-stuff" vote inducements President Obama is offering a variety of special-interest groups in exchange for another four years.

    The way I see it, this is the choice. We can either choose to stop this annual, trilliion dollar deficit madness and try to live within our means again, or we can choose to willingly bankrupt our Nation. This same choice came to middle-class Californians. Unfortunately, they chose the Democrat/RINO path of spending their once-prosperous state into oblivion. And now they're broke and unemployed...or enjoying life again, but as Texans.

    Good road,
    GlueckAuf

    October 19, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. Jim

    Rasmussen Oct 18th...funny how CNN remained quiet on poll until they can find one that leans Obama's way :)
    Florida: Romney 51%, Obama 46%

    Mitt Romney has taken his biggest lead of the year in Florida and now outpaces President Obama by five points in the key swing state following Tuesday night's debate.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Florida Voters finds Romney with 51% support to Obama’s 46%. One percent (1%) prefers some other candidate, and two percent (2%) remain undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

    Florida now moves from a Toss-Up to Leans Romney in the Rasmussen Reports Electoral College Projections.

    Last week, Romney held a slightly narrower 51% to 47% lead. Prior to that time, the candidates have been within two points of each other in Florida in every survey since April.

    Ninety-five percent (95%) of likely voters in the Sunshine State say they are certain to vote in this year’s election. Among these voters, it’s Romney 51%, Obama 47%.

    Florida allows early voting, and among voters who have already voted, Romney's ahead 51% to 45%.

    Among those who have yet to vote, 88% say they have already made up their minds which candidate they will vote for. Romney leads 54% to 45% among these voters.

    October 19, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. Orlando guy

    49% still means 51% of our population are fools. Another 4 years will bankrupt this country and force our kids to pay more in taxes to satisfy the debt. Fire Obama and send his butt back to Chicago. He can make a decent living on the speaking circuit.

    October 19, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. chris

    that polls are this close is an indication of just how bad hope and change performed. yet so many people want to keep the same wasteful spending policies.

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

    Maybe all those old people in Florida actually want a voucher program for their medical coverage.

    October 19, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. madhuthangavelu

    Time for Flordia to rethink the issues and vote with a rational mind.

    Can we expect Gov.Romney, nominated by a badly
    fractured GOP, to be on top of it all, if he were elected ?

    Can we expect a broken GOP to pull together
    pressing issues and more ?

    If elected, Mitt and Pual will spend the net four years trying to rebuild GOP, not take care of urgent needs of US.

    Mitt's job in this 2012 election year is to grow
    the GOP back into a moderate and effective party that it used to be, long ago.
    It will take him and others at least till 2016 to shed the extremism and
    insensitivities that dominates their agenda now.

    And I also think Mitt may not
    be the kind of leader they want to nominate come 2016. Great businessman,
    wonderful family, but to be POTUS needs an entirely different set of character
    traits, completely different frame of mind. Someone who is globally wise, really
    truly knows about how the world is shaping US policy as much as we are
    affecting the globe.

    This election is perhaps the first time in world history
    that who sits in the White House matters a great deal to the whole world...and
    alas, Mitt and Paul do not seem to know or care about the 21st century world
    economy that is shaping before their very eyes, turning all talk toward
    obsolete myopic domestic agenda. And this goes for the media too, who think the
    economy is to blame for all the ills of the world.

    Connections, connections is
    what it is all about, folks, just like the internet that is now a global
    information medium that is able to shift ideas and capital across the globe at
    the speed of light, we need to have an administration that is able to hammer and
    wield policy quickly, with a finger on the pulse of these new structures which
    are emerging.

    Now, who would you trust to do this ?
    A Romney administration with grandeurs of
    illusion perched on a bygone golden age, armed with an American hammer and crowbar
    or an Obama administration that will most definitely be far more globally aware sensitive and flexible
    because POTUS has learnt some lessons in these last four years, not to mention
    he has set some strong foundations for a recovery ?

    Also, POTUS does not have to
    worry what the GOP and Dems will hurl at him in his second term because he
    knows and more importantly they know, he won't need their help come 2016. This time around no politics, just common sense about what is good for America and the world.

    So all in all, a vote for Obama goes for a vote
    for rational, wise policy continuation...and a vote for Romney is a sure vote
    for more obfuscation by a broken GOP with no leadership, and a far more messy
    four years.

    October 19, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. julia

    Go Obama!

    October 19, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Yeah!

    I anticipated Obama losing FL. Obama will win Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, and most likely Virginia as well.

    Romney can will FL, NC, OH, NV, etc. And none of it matters

    The bottom line in this election is that the mathematics of the electoral college don't add up for Romney. If the population of the country was distributed in a different manner, then he would win by a landslide.

    But it isn't. I will still be voting for Romney, but its sort of in vain at this point.

    October 19, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. Vera Waitress

    If Romney has a magic bullet for the economy, why didn't he present it to Congress in the last 4 years? There is no magic bullet. Romney can't affect the global economy, and he can't change gas prices. No President can. Anyone who votes for Romney is literally saying "I am going to vote for a candidate who can has a secret method for changing the econony." How dumn can you be?

    October 19, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. KingArthur

    CNN POLLS ARE NOT CREDIBLE! By their own admission they have more repugnants than democrats in their polling. They are now in cahoots with FOX News. And don't underestimate the REGISTERED voters which outnumber the LIKELY voters. Voter suppression is the only thing that can get Florida for Romney.

    October 19, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  25. James

    And the winner is Romney. America is back on the road to recovery. Time to reset the calanders to 1955.

    October 19, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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