January 29th, 2008
08:26 PM ET
14 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. Luke

    In a very close race... it all boils down to Delegates. The media won't cover this win like South Carolina's win.

    January 29, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  2. matthew

    I can't wait until Florida's delegates are reinstated!!

    Hillary 2008!!

    January 29, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  3. joe

    IM FROM FLORIDA

    CNN/OPRAHAMA NETWORK...COME ON

    HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK WE ARE IN FLORIDA?

    THE KENNEDY ENDORSEMENT DID NOTHING FOR US....WE VOTED FOR

    CLINTON FOR HER EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE VERSUS OPRAHAMA

    WHO STILL NEEDS MORE TIME...HE IS TOO NEW FOR THE ISSUES ON THAT

    DESK AS PRESIDENT...HE IS NOT READY

    OPRAHAMA IS ALL BLAH, BLAH, BLAH

    HILLARY O8

    HILLARY 08

    HILLARY 08

    January 29, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. mitch

    well Rebecca Sinderbrand
    U guys are trying to make her look like a winner right? she is a looser... trust me Bush is much better than her

    January 29, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  5. N

    Sounds like a Bush move to me....change the rules to fit what I want.

    January 29, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  6. Marilyn

    Of Course because it shows that she cares about the people of Florida.

    January 29, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  7. tomdavie

    This is funny

    Everyone who wanted to vote for Obama MAGICALLY changed their mind because Clinton said she would ask to seat the delegates AFTER the nomination was decided.

    This article is quite the SPIN. Everyone is a ZOMBIE who just does what the media tells them to.

    January 29, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  8. geoff - olywa

    Um...msnbc just reported the opposite of what your story says. Fact check time...

    January 29, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  9. tomdavie

    Did your TAP DACNING exit pollsters ASK if her comments changed their minds?

    I guess not huh.

    January 29, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  10. lc7196

    I was a late deciding voter – I had planned on voting for Obama, but when the Kennedy's endorsed him, I switched to Clinton. But that is only for the primary.... Since the DNC thinks so little of Florida, I will vote Republican in the general election.

    January 29, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  11. B.W.

    Yahoo!!! Go Hillary Go....

    January 29, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  12. Connie Lin

    Yeah! Hillary..! The people in Florida speaks their minds tonight and it is no beauty contest mr.Obama!

    January 29, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  13. Christine Atlanta, Ga.

    ObamaNation... say what you will. Hillary has won Florida big time!

    January 29, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  14. carlo

    Watching Hillary having a "victory" speech in a state where delegates don't count is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen in a presidential campaign. She pushes for their votes to count right before the primaries, which made people vote for her, thinking that she is "for" them, when she agreed with the other candidates not to count the delegates. If the Florida voters voted for Hillary based on her "routing for them", they are the dumbest bunch of people in America.

    If these delegates are counted, I'm becoming an independent.

    January 29, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  15. Peggy

    why doesnt Florida just listen to the DNC...they're dumb

    January 29, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  16. Ed

    Obama did advertise in Florida. He ran TV ads! I don't buy the "could not exclude Florida because the ads were national ads" explanation. Very crafty. And if that were the case, he could have waited until after the Florida primary. It was already very clear that he would win in SC.

    January 29, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  17. lara

    obama supporters try to deny a blow - whites will vote for hill and so will hispanics...blacks alone will not win this for him

    she beat the crap out of him

    deal w/it

    January 29, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  18. Frank

    This isn't exactly surprising. Hillary broke the rules and campaigned there in the last week because her floundering campaign needed a win. Looks like she was rewarded for her pandering.

    January 29, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  19. A

    The decision of the Democratic Party can be challenge in a court. I do not think the party can go over the will of the people and do not allow them to express their opinion in an election. I think this will not stop here.

    January 29, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  20. Al, Los Angeles, CA

    If not for them, Al Gore would be president. 2004 thousands of minority voters were mysterious removed. Then moving up their primaries. They should be on suspension for a decade for the good of the country.

    January 29, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  21. Ariel

    What you are not saying is that 53% of the votes were counted prior to Obama's momentum

    January 29, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  22. inkrun

    Well, I do hope the media covers this as they should. We are all voting citizens interested in this outcome. Obama doesn't own all the media does he? I mean I know that the 24hr nets are owned by Republicans, but why would they push Obama on us so much? Really odd don't you think? I mean they push him almost as much as the BORING Republican race.

    January 29, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  23. gman

    Congrats to Billary on winning NOTHING!!! Man how desperate must you be to throw a celebration party to say you won nothing. How Pathetic!!!!

    January 29, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  24. twinmom48

    Your reporting suggests that Hillary Clinton didn't observe the rules prohibiting campaigning. It fails to note that Obama advertised in Florida in violation of rules endorsed by the candidates. While Clinton may have gained local endorsements, the airwaves have been filled over the last two days with Kennedy family endorsements for Obama.

    Where's the fairness? Significant numbers of voters turned out. They deserve to be heard. Report on that issue!

    January 29, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  25. Paul DEM GA

    It is really sicking how CNN tries to down play the Florida voters. People voted and should be recognized wether CNN think so or not. Stop being bias... be fair reporting these voters are US citzens, you should recognize the voters.
    Your signaling the late vote is stupid.

    January 29, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
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