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. Mary, Iowa voter

    Amy, Kazoo;

    here's how it went down; in MI, they were all asked to take their names off the ballot. They all, except Clintons and Dodd, tried. Kucinich apparently had troubles with one of the notorized signatures and they didn't notify him in time to get his name off the ballot. That left three candidates on your ballots, along with undecided. Not much motivation to go vote, eh? But word got out that Clintons were planning on counting MI as a win for themselves, and all three of the other contenders joined together to prevent it from appearing that way, even tho there were to be no delegates awarded....

    Now, I think Clintons figured the same thing had happened in FL and again she didn't stand a chance, until s/he realized that s/he could start spouting off in the media about calling on the other candidates to go back on their word and demand that the DNC seat their delegates.

    Keep in mind that this was all OK with Clintons when s/he was the perceived winner. But now that there's a serious challenge, s/he starts this protest, and makes it "look good" to a state that's already going to come out to vote on property issues anyway (and what population is most likely to own property?). Sadly, I'm afraid that this is further fracturing a badly broken party. I've never heard so many people promising not to support Clintons.

    I think it's TRAGIC that the Democrats allowed the Republicans to dictate the calendar jumps and thus the DNC allowed the Republicans to play a part in preventing the seating of delegates. That all happened months ago. Everyone knew about it.

    I'm an Indie, and I abhor this politial system that we have. All the fighting, battles, name calling, innuendo, power grabbing....and there are some things that are wrong, and there are things that are JUST PLAIN WRONG! We as a citizenry have gotten so soft on all of this...it's OUR JOB and OUR RIGHT!!! And we've let others decide FOR us.

    January 29, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  2. Dave

    Wouldn't it be nice if someone points out that Hillary only won by a relatively small margin in NH, yet was only able to gain a minimal advantage in a state where she was the only one to campaign? It must be nice for her to win in states that don't count... When will she realize that the American voters have no desire to repeat the disastrous years of a Clinton presidency which showed a moral character on par with a bachelor party in Las Vegas? Feminists and Womens Rights activists must intelligent and informed enough to desire a more capable and desirable candidate to represent the female segment of the population. Pick someone who was first able to manage their own lives before they attempted to claim the ability to manage the future of an entire nation. 35 years of being married to a political leader does not a president make...

    January 29, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  3. tomdavie

    Clinton stated she wants them seated AFTER the nominee is decided. I am certain all the candidates will do the same. What are they going to do. If obama wins the nomination, is he going to keep them out?

    The point that is stressing the obama people is that even AFTER the Kennedy endorsment. Even AFTER the SC win, we see some DRASTIC demographics.

    First and foremost, Obama didnt have an overwhelming youth vote. Why? He didnt CAMPAIGN TO DEATH TO GET THEM OUT TO THE POLLS. This is how Obama is doing it. Getting kids who wont vote in the general election out to vote in the primary.

    It happens EVERY election cycle. Then they dont vote in the general election.

    Obama cant get all the youth vote out in 22 states on super tuesday. This is why you cant get the youth vote out unless your entire team is concentrated in one state. You just dont have the organization that size. You dont have Obama giving speeches all over the place in every state.

    This is why you cant DRAG out the youth vote in the general election. Not enough manpower to make it a reality. You need the candidate there.

    This was a HUGE telling point. Therefore, I predict Clinton will win most of the super tuesday states due to this reason.

    January 29, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  4. vickiigou

    you are right on...being a women that pioneered a male dominated occupation is a constant battle...I would think that by this time in history..it wouldn't be such an obstacle...what scares me more is the amount of women that are sexist against there own gender, and they don't even see it...Men will typically back up men even if they are wrong, you don't see women doing this...There still are too many women that are submissive to their man, that they will vote on what their man tells them to.... I don't get it...Women need to not only think of their family needs, but they really need to think of their needs too...Voting for a candidate that supports you as a woman...and all the other things you stand for is important...This race is going to be a good indicator on wether our society is more sexist or more racist....this is so sad... nothing against Obama, but he is too naive, and does not have enought experience to manage the country...Hands down Hillary does... If Obama was to make VP...then depending on what he does or does not do, the presidency could be his... He really has done anything so it makes it difficult to believe he can

    January 29, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  5. tim

    Im sorry.... I am a teacher and we teach our elementary kids that you need to play fair and to play by the rules.... what Clinton is doing is not playing by the rules! She agreed to the terms in the beginning when everyone else sat down and agreed, but when she finds herself in the hole trailing behind a candidate that has less experience and starts a movement that she isn't included in. she says, "oh yeah, now that I (quote, unquote) won Michigan and Florida, I think we should count the delegates... just because it would help me out." HOW UNFAIR!

    You can't just change the rules in the middle of something...

    Oh yeah.... sound familiar? "Iowa picks corn, New Hampshire picks Presidents..." and "oh, South Carolina isn't important." Watch out Hillary if you get the nomination... you are irritating too many people along the way. I have met more people that say that they won't vote at all if Hillary gets the nomination.

    Also, watch out for a double presidency... everyone knows Bill wants back in. I feel sorry for the poor soul who runs at the vice-president. Talk about overshadowed by the first-man.

    January 29, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  6. TF

    What the democrats do not understand is that if they lose Florida or Ohio in December, they will lose the white House.

    Hillary made the right case to endear herself to the state.
    The fact is that she won and even the late polls helped her which means that she is coming back to where she should be

    Up Hillary '08

    January 29, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  7. Michael Guthrie

    Some day, people will look back on Hillary Clinton and go wow, she really fooled us. How did I believe her? Sounds kind of like how people feel about Bush now.

    If Hilary has so much integrity and honesty as she has just exclaimed in her speech... if she cares so much about the voters in FL and making sure their votes are heard... answer me this: Why did Mrs. Clinton wait until after getting hammered in SC to fight for the delegates being reinstated in FL? They have been removed since August 27th, 2007. Yes, that's right... over FIVE months ago. Funny how FL becomes important 1 day after her worst loss ever and 2 days before her last chance to redeem herself before Feb. 5th.

    Gotta love them Clintons... they're a funny bunch. She sure fooled you all!

    January 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  8. FJ Stratford

    Go Hillary! You can bring about the necessary improvements that this country sorely needs!


    Best of all Hillary won the late deciders! The tide has turned!

    Hillary Hillary Hillary!

    January 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  9. Jeff, MD

    GO...........Hillery I need you now more then ever. I bought a house I couldnt really afford and I need some help with my mortage. I should have been responsible and not bought that 7 Series BMW with my line of credit from my house but what the heck its a tax write off and you are going to bail me out. GO HILLARY............................. Do you happen to have free health care as well, heck I may just quit my job all together

    January 29, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  10. Steven and Veronica

    Whoo hoo! Go Hillary!!!

    Funny how Obama keeps talking about "unity," then he turns away from Hillary, calls her victory "zero," and most of Obama's supporters on this board post as if they were all divisive, intolerant, and even sexist ! This does not represent your candidate very well, frankly.

    January 29, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  11. John William

    Simply put, more people voted in Florida (record turn out) than all other primaries and caucuses. So, what does that say about HRC candidacy? print and other media sources will pay attention to this win............. And if you think this will not have some benefits of a momentum going into FEB 5th...... than you are too cynical to be subjective.........

    HRC 08

    January 29, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  12. josh22

    For all Obama supporters stop being so childish...Fact of the matter is Clinton defeated Obama by a HUGE margin....Lets for one moment agree to the fact that Clinton is amoral and despicable in supporting states when it is convinient for her...my question to you is how is obama any different? If he really were a different politician he wud not have dismissed FL as he did by calling it a "beauty contest",Do u for one moment think had he won this primary he wud call FL the same thing "a beauty contest"? Count me out as an Obama supporter...

    - A disillusioned ex- OBAMA supporter...

    January 29, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  13. 1950democrat

    Correction: Obama DID advertise in Florida. He ran a great many tv spots there.

    Hillary is the one who did not advertise, who obeyed the DNC ban.

    January 29, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  14. kat

    "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."

    Absolutely. I'm an Obama supporter from Michigan and believe me I was very upset when the DNC stripped our delegates. But with Clinton's name the only major one on the ballot, believe me I am enraged at the possibility of her getting those delegates back. I realize that Obama and Edwards were on the Florida ballot, but the same reasoning still applies - people don't go to the polls if they think their vote doesn't count, unless maybe they're retired people who don't have things to do that day (older people support Clinton). You can't change the rules halfway through! These delegates should not count, and the media should stop covering this "victory".

    January 29, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  15. vickiigou

    I learned at an early age... to think outside of the box- and no to necessarily take NO as an answer....Because of this, I am very successful financially, in my business, and in life.... so people sometimes there are other pathways to get what you want.... and it might not be all that bad. Get over it!!!
    Do we followers, or people that are pathing the path!!!

    January 29, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  16. FJ Stratford

    This is HUGE for HILLARY! It looks like late deciders are breaking for her again!

    January 29, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  17. Joe

    I don't understand one thing. This article and others have said NO democrats campaigned or ADVERTISED in Florida. I don't live in Florida, but I visited the Orlando area last week with my family and I saw an Obama ad in Orlando on a local affiliate station.

    It struck me for two reasons. First, it was the first ad I've seen for Obama since I live nowhere near a state that has had a caucus or primary at this point. Secondly, it caught my eye because I thought they weren't supposed to be advertising there.

    So, what gives? Why was there an Obama ad in central Florida last week? Anyone?

    January 29, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  18. Carol

    You people are morons. The Party has a process to strip delegates. There is also a process for appeal.

    If your panties are in that tight of a knot, contact the DNC to find out the process, otherwise.....shut up!

    January 29, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  19. Ed C.

    Clinton is the only truly qualified candidate to move into the leadership of the White House.

    And we get Bill for no extra charge. He as former President did an incredible job bucking a republican Congress time and time again. We get two politically astute minds for the price of one. It should be a no-brainer.

    Any person who is not debt free and making $200,000 a year thinking of voting republican is indicative that their gullibility and IQ reside at opposite ends of the spectrum.

    Clinton 4A Great 08!

    January 29, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  20. Concerned Voter

    Eddie W.: You said Obama won 80% of the white vote in Iowa. Obama definitely did **NOT** win 80% of the white vote in iowa. 93% of voters in Iowa were white. IF he had won 80% of them he would have ended up with around 70% of the overall vote. He ACTUALLY ended up with 38% of the overall vote. Your math is impossible!!! While I applaud you for trying to make a point, you can't MAKE UP FACTS to suit you.

    That being said, John Edwards '08. He's the TRUE change candidate.

    January 29, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  21. vickiigou

    Two of the states Hillary has won, are delivering delegets....interesting..um.
    But she is still ahead...has won more states to this point...and has more delegates..
    A couple of my guy friends said they are voting for Hillary, but they don't share that with their friends...that's so sad..

    January 29, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  22. Matt Scott

    If this was an open primary it would of been far closer than it was.

    Obama has much more crossover appeal which is why a lot of prominent democrats are aligning with the Obama campaign.

    Clinton will be lucky to win a general election with 51% of the vote and Florida would most likely not be one of the states giving it's electoral college votes to her opponent.

    January 29, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  23. Sleepwell

    Hi, I am from the Netherlands.

    I've been following this election on CNN. As a democrat supporter I don't understand the hate between the Clinton and Obama supporters.

    I can understand that in the heat of the moment Hillary and Barrack loose themselves sometimes. Of course the sensation media will emphasize these rare moments and keep repeating them in order to create controversy to attrack viewers/readers.

    But people supporting Hillary and Barrack should be wiser than this and start to come up with good arguments why they favour their candidate instead of killing a member of your own group that has slightly different views.

    Given the many, many comments here that really have no substance at all I have the feeling most of you are active members of the campaign team.

    You know as someone that watches this from a distance it would be nice to read something positive about Hillary from a Obama supporter and visa-versa.

    Lately I read many hilarious comments about endorsements. I read people are not supporting Obama because Kennedy or Kerry endorsed him and because they don't like these two they stop likening Obama.
    I hope you guys don't use the same logic in real life. What if a serial killer would love your girlfiend.. hmm since you don't like that serial killer you don't like your wife anymore. People get real. Come with some good arguments.

    I think the supporters should realise that what they are doing here is giving the media channels a stick to hit with. Haven't you noticed some crazy news lately on the newsticker. Obama snubs Hillary? Please come on. Well I can't blame CNN either, when you analyse the comments these are the topics the members are waiting for...

    January 29, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  24. Jayna

    It's really not about the ads or the campaigning. It's about who the people want for president or, out of desperation, which of the candidates, who has ideas closest to their own beliefs, has the best chance of beating the likely republican nominee. I feel confident that is going to be Hillary. When she runs for the national election the excitement in having the chance to participate in the election of and vote for the first woman President of the U.S. will motivate many woman voters (greater than 50 percent of the population of the U.S.) and likely many men as well. It represents a very exciting time for our country. I invite you to take a chance and embrace it. She is not as bad as the press makes her out to be. She is savy and shrewd, qualities that in a man seem to be less criticized. Same old stereotype for woman I'm hoping having a female president will help to dispell.

    January 29, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  25. Leah DiMarco, TX

    I wish everyone would get their facts straight.

    Senator Obama's NATIONAL ad was not against the rules.
    The DNC approved it.
    You can not run a NATIONAL ad and omit ONE state.
    Billary could have spent the money and did the same thing.

    Also it was not a HUGE win for Billary.

    There were NO delegates to win.

    Obama 0 – Edwards 0 – Clinton 0 – Kucinich 0

    January 29, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
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