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. Jonathan Rodriguez

    It's funny people claim other candidates weren't in the ballot yet they got votes…people get a brain Hillary has won 2 states now where she would have gotten delegates if it wasn't for the Democratic Party Stupidity to remove their Delegates.

    I am very ashamed of the news constant anti-Clinton & racism talk especially of the Obama-Jackson comparison I mean for god's sakes is comparing an african american to another african american racist now? it is clear to anyone with a brain that Clinton got asked a question and he answered it and was basically saying "Hey the race isn't over yet, look at Jesse Jackson he won SC yet he lost the nomination" so if this is the way Obama and his aides will handle themselves in office people prepare to not be able to say a word about him because you will quickly get accused of racism every single time you say something that goes against what he wants, get mad or not that's the way it is looking, anything anyone says is racist according to Obama's Camp.

    January 29, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  2. Ryan kr

    Michigan and Florida played dumb–that's their reward.

    January 29, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  3. Pamela

    I have to say that it really was very maverick of Florida to insist on going against the party and leap-frogging the primary. That state is truly to be blamed for making a bad decision. They knew what would happen and yet they proceeded. Shameful. As shameful as the extremely biased and anti-hillary and endless negative finger pointing at the Clinton campaign that is being done by CNN and MSNBC and Fox. MY God! She is still in the lead nationally....is everyone blind??

    January 29, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  4. OBAMA4EVER

    Hillary runs away from South Carolina (where delegates actually count) to Tennesee where she knew she would be defeated.

    She chooses to place her name on the ballot in Michigan and campaigns in Florida, where she knew she would win, despite the fact that no delegates are going to be awarded there.

    GO OBAMA!

    January 29, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. Ray

    Lets see, Had Obama won then it would have mattered, but he did not so Hillary's win means nothing?

    Obama fans are pathetic.

    January 29, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  6. OBAMA4EVER

    OBAMA HAD NATIONAL ADS RUNNING IN FLORIDA.! STOP DISTORTING THE FACTS YOU CLINTON SUPPORTERS

    January 29, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  7. Jackie

    I admire Hillary Clinton. She is tough, knowledgeable, and does not take anything from anyone! I support her and am tired of Obama representing himself as "Change"...but, what exactly is his agenda of “Change”... really! What has he changed in the past during his career that we should believe him? What has he done for our country? Does he have the experience and what it takes to rapidly turn around our country after the situation we are in? Change, Change, Change that is only a word….Aren't you tire of empty words! Our economy cannot afford any more mistakes…It is time for our country to have a President that really knows about economy! Who do you think was behind Bill Clinton during his great years of presidency ...a very determined, intelligent and strong woman! Truly, I'm really bothered by Obama’s arrogant attitude towards Hillary!

    January 29, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  8. Yolanda Paulsen Ayarza

    Could some one explain me what is going to happen with the 1/2 millions democrats votes for Hilary Clinton. Where will they go.?

    Thank you

    January 29, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  9. Cory, PA

    NEWS FLASH: This means absolutely nothing Hillary supporters!

    OBAMA '08

    January 29, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  10. David from Texas

    This primary at this point doesn't count, however, it shows that Obama has not made inroads with the White nor Latino voters. This is what will get him on super Tuesday. He continues to garner huge black votes-but this will only benefit him in a few states on super Tuesday. He got no bounce from South Carolina nor from the Kennedy endorsement. In faact, the Kennedy endorsement may have hurt him in states outside the Northeast-here in Texas, many Democrats hate Ted Kennedy. Go Hillary!! The facts are that Obama has not made any progress lately in attracting white voters. This is not good for him. There is no way to spin this any other way. Obama has a lot of work to do.

    January 29, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  11. Karen

    Michigan counts. Florida counts. The people count. Their votes count. Everyone should be counted in a true democracy instead of playing these petty political games. I find it appalling that we live in America and are refusing to allow the citizens to have a say in who their President will be.

    There is dissatisfaction with the way our govt operates. The Party politics, delegate games, superdelegates. All of it designed to make sure the people do not get above themselves and select someone the party does not approve of. There will be a lot of very angry people if the majority does NOT get their chosen candidate this time around.

    January 29, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  12. CHERYL

    THAT IS BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE NO LONGER FALLING FOR OBAMA'S PREACHER RETORIC! THEY KNOW WHO THE BETTER CANDIDATE IS I THINK THAT WAS PROVEN TONIGHT!!!!!!! I HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN THAT HILLARY WOULD WIN! EVEN IF SHE DOES NOT GET THE DELEGATES THIS SPEAKS VOLUMES TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!!!!!!!! PEOPLE NEED TO CONCENTRATE ON THE NEWS TODAY ABOUT OBAMA'S SHADY REAL ESTATE DEAL WITH TOM REZKO!!! GOOGLE IT. HILLARY IS A UNITER AND I AM BEHIND HER ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 29, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  13. Becky Montgomery

    Please listen and research: Obama has explained that the ads running there are NATIONAL ads–they go out on the national waves. He has not gone to a campaign event disguised as a fund raiser; he stayed out of the state as has Edwards. Again–I feel badly for the people in Florida, but did they try to stop this when it could have been? They could have waited until Feb. 5 and had no problems at all.

    January 29, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  14. joe

    CLINTON WILL WIN IT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 29, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  15. ceti

    Michigan and Florida are not legitimate contests, no matter whether you agreed with the DNC's decision or not. Just like the caucus system in Nevada (and Hillary won there, good for her), this was decided long before now.

    To have the rules changes in midstream is patently unfair. To give Florida any added weight is ridiculous. For the partisans here, please get a grip. I know the Hillary supporter want to spin this (yes it is spinning) so that it some big thing, but really, Florida just doesn't count right now.

    And yes Florida has a lot of slimy politics from 2000, and yet another fixed race would not help matters.

    January 29, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  16. Becky Montgomery

    Issue: Obama calling the election a "beauty contest." I have heard many, many news stations and commentators saying the same thing. It has been the most-often used phrase describing the unforunate situation.

    January 29, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  17. dee

    Hillary Won a good fight in florida

    Ha Ha – name recognition only

    Hillary has been campaigning in FL from day one
    Orders from Howard Dean

    Hillary is a Sore looser

    Never thanked the people who went out their way to Vote for her.

    She is going to get a great push from this big fight in FL

    LOL Wake up

    Hillary and Bill are sore loosers

    GOP 08

    January 29, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  18. dee

    We need better choice of Candidates

    GOP and Dems

    We need Bloomberg

    Both parties are being pimped by special interest

    Bloomberg 08

    January 29, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  19. Dem08

    tomdavie, the other canidates could have come to Florida. There was no rule that said they couldn't after the polls closed. But, you are right, you don't owe Hillary anything. you sound like a republican.

    January 29, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  20. Carole

    HILLARY, HILLARY, HILLARY.....GO, GO, GO!!! You are gonna do it. Shame on the DNC for telling any state their votes won't count. This is still America, Isn't it??? The DNC needs to wake up and give the delegates to the candidates. I am a die hard Democrat but McCain should get the 114 he won. NOT HALF! What is the matter with you people that make these rules. All you ever hear is people don't vote. How can we get the votes out, then you wanna take them away and make them not count??

    GIVE THE DELEGATES WHERE THE DELEGATES ARE DUE! ALL OF THEM!!

    HILLARY 2008

    Oh yeah, the media is so anti Clinton it makes me sick!! NO DOUBT, she will overcome!! What a fantastic leader we will have when she is THE PRESIDENT!

    January 29, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  21. Hooray

    I must say a lot of democrates came out to vote and that's a good thing. I "Hope" they do the same in the general elections.

    January 29, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  22. Kel

    HELLO!! TO HAVE WIN WITH THE VOTE OF THE PEOPLE IS FAR STRONGER THAN ANY KENNEDY ENDORCEMENT...AND THATS THE TRUTH

    January 29, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  23. Marie, Atlanta

    The people of FL have spoken! Let's watch Feb. 5th! GO HILLARY!

    January 29, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  24. dee

    ken January 29, 2008 9:00 pm ET

    It's funny how the Obama supporters can be such sour grapes when Hillary wins. It is you all who are sputing the hogwash not the Clintons.

    Hillary takes defeat eith Grace

    Ya Right! LOL

    The Divider will help GOP

    GOP 08

    January 29, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  25. Nobama

    Obama supporters,
    Taste that! That's what Super Tuesday will be like! Get used to Hillary's victory after victory after victory... all the way to the White House.

    Oh but don't be so discouraged, your candidate has a good chance to be the next governor of South Carolina.

    January 29, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
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