January 29th, 2008
08:26 PM ET
15 years ago

Exit polls: Clinton wins late deciders

(CNN) - Democratic primary voters in South Carolina who made their presidential pick in the week before voting overwhelmingly chose Barack Obama. In Florida, according to exit polls, those last-minute deciders went for Hillary Clinton.

All the major Democratic candidates had pledged not to campaign in Florida following national party sanctions that rendered the contest irrelevant to the presidential nominating process. None of the candidates have visited, except for private fundraisers, and none have advertised in the state.

But over the past few days, the Clinton campaign called for the Democratic National Committee’s decision not to seat Florida’s delegates at the party’s summer convention to be reversed; announced several major state endorsements, like U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson; and revealed plans for a major election night celebration in the state featuring a visit from Hillary Clinton herself – all factors which may have helped sway late-deciding voters.

Among all voters who made their decision in the last three days (including those who made their decision today), 37 percent went for Clinton and 34 percent went for Obama in early exit polls.

Among voters who made their decision on Election Day, the gap was even larger: 35 percent supported Clinton, 31 percent John Edwards, and 27 percent Obama. When those last minute-deciders are removed from the equation, Obama regains a 5-point edge over Clinton among just those voters who made their decision over the weekend, 45 to 40 percent.

The votes in Florida will not count towards the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Exit Polls • Florida
soundoff (438 Responses)
  1. HMiller

    One interesting statement in the CNN article about McCain's victory in Florida was that he won with Republicans only; no cross-over voting. My understanding was that Independents or anyone else not registered as Dem or Rep could declare the party (Dem or Rep) they wished to vote for. That would mean that McCain still could have had a large number of Independents voting for him. If true, your article is misleading about McCain's support among only Republicans.

    January 30, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. Mike

    I think that Obama is receiving a lot of endorsements and support from Ted and others because they are playing to the black voters themselves. There is a lot of hope riding on Obama and the guy is a decent guy. I dont care about his slumlord partner and that he admitted he knew the guy was a con artist and did business with him anyway. I think most people would take a house $300,000 less than the value if they could as long as it was legal. The problem is experience. Hillary understands that you theorize what to do and then you try it. If it fails, analyze it and try again. I think Obama is a good guy but is going to let a lot of people down as president. He will be in for a major shock which Hillary is already well aware of the presidential pitfalls. She has lived with a president for 8 years and she knows what she is in for. She knows what it will take and has tried some heavy duty policy changes even before being a senator. She has talked changed, she has lived it.

    January 30, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. v.ananthan




    January 30, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Greg

    I have a question. Which of the candidates want to stop ilegal immagration. And is it just me or does giving ilegals a a rebate check sound like a bad idea? I think when they hear of this in Mexico they will all be filling.

    January 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Kathy in California

    Just another instance of questionable tactics by Hillary Clinton. I was once going to vote for her but after the tactics used by her backers, campaign staff and husband, so far in this campaign, I've changed my vote to Obama.

    You shouldn't change the rules midstream. This isn't the first she has tried and I'm sure it won't be the last. Seems there was campaigning going on inside Florida before the vote but as usual, Hilary and her campaign staff had nothing to do with it. Now we're going to see her lobby to change the rules about seating the delegates. Win at all cost, in this primary, and worry about the rest later seems to be her motto. I really question her ethics. At least Obama seems to be trying hard to run an ethical campaign.

    Can't say I believe her take on the "snub" by Obama either. Looked to me like he was looking down at someone who was speaking to him just as he has said.

    Can we really believe anything she says?

    Go Obama 2008!

    January 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. stacy

    Joe in Florida is absolutely correct, maybe CNN should find Kathleen Harris, that was Jeb Bush's buddy and interview her and get her take on all this, i. e. crooked or non-crooked, count or no count.

    January 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. joanna

    Florida may not count now, but wait 'til the "true" election. Hillary is going to win that one.

    January 30, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Kenny Change

    Let the ignorance stop talking about raceall over the world we only hear UNITED STATE go OBAMA for the CLINTON you should know the party is over and for God grace you will not be the USA president

    January 30, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. Susan

    I don't know why you haven't made note of such endorsements as this of Hillary Clinton. It seems the bias in the press is to only exude the joy of Obama's endorsements. Here is a counter-view (source: The Observer):

    Today's Kennedy Endorsements: Obama 2, Clinton 1
    by Katharine Jose | January 27, 2008 | Tags: PoliticsBarack ObamaCaroline KennedyHillary ClintonKathleen KennedyTed Kennedy
    On the heels of an endorsement for Barack Obama from Caroline Kennedy and the news that Ted Kennedy is going to endorse Obama tomorrow, the Clinton campaign released this statement of endorsement from Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former Lt. Governor of Maryland:

    “I respect Caroline and Teddy's decision but I have made a different choice. While I admire Senator Obama greatly, I have known Hillary Clinton for over 25 years and have seen first hand how she gets results. As a woman, leader, and person of deep convictions, I believe Hillary Clinton would make the best possible choice for president. She shares so many of the concerns of my father. Hillary has spent a lifetime speaking out on behalf of the powerless and working to alleviate poverty, in our country and around the world. I have seen her work up close and know she will be a great President. At this moment when so much is at stake at home and overseas, I urge our fellow Americans to support Hillary Clinton. That is why my brother Bobby, my sister Kerry, and I are supporting Hillary Clinton.”

    January 30, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. ross

    The media has already decided who the next president will be, and I"m already tired of Hillary and Obama. GET THE POLITICIANS OUT OF WAHSINGTON AND GET THE CITIZENS IN. I'm sick and tired of PROFESSIONAL politicans. I don't trust one thing that comes out of their mouths. Romney is sounding better and better.

    January 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Michelle, AL

    January 30, 2008 8:51 am ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    How many Obama posters here remember Election 2000, where Gore won the popular vote but Bush won the most delegates?

    How many of you were outraged because the delegates counted for more than the voice of the people?

    Now you have changed your mind about that, since it suits your candidate? Only because of this messed up political system do delegates count more than the popular vote. Since Florida has no delegates that will count, I guess the popular vote there means nothing? Those 1.5 million people who voted were just pissing in the wind? I swear, 99% of the Obama supporters here are so ill-educated, they just follow out of blind faith that this man who has been a US Senator for 3 years, 2 of which years he's been campaining for president, can lead this nation.

    Even Lou Dobbs said last night, in the case of a national/foreign crisis, can a community organizer from inner-city Chicago lead us?

    January 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. Joe

    That is just too bizarre . . . saying Romney is NOT a politician.

    You must be drinking some really really powerful kool-aid.

    January 30, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. eva

    Tonights debate will finally require that someone in the Media require Barack Obama to actually answer a question -– this will close the deal for Hillary on Super Tuesday!

    President Hillary Clinton – 2008

    January 31, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
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