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)



    January 29, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  2. affry

    The bias that CNN shows in trying to ignore the will of almost 1 million people using their constitutional right to vote for Hillary Clinton in Florida is disgusting. The media is supposed to report the news, not try to manipulate peoples minds one way or another. Clinton won by 18 points above Obama with the same amount of effort as he put into the state. Clinton will be our next president, despite your attempts to disrupt the elections in this country, CNN.

    January 29, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  3. Mark Kraft

    This is a test of the Florida Democratic primary.

    The party leaders in your area, in violation of Democratic national authorities, have developed this unofficial primary to try to cut ahead of other states, in the event of an actual election.

    For the next sixty seconds, you will hear a high-pitched whining tone that will let you know that your fellow Floridians just threw their votes away, followed by a collective yawn from the rest of America.

    Remember, this is only a test.



    This has been a test of the Florida Democratic primary. If this had been an actual primary, you would have been instructed to vote one week later at one of the polling stations in your area.

    This concludes this test of the Florida Democratic Primary.

    January 29, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  4. Lisa

    Well i am glad to see some i'm not the only one who sees a winner in hillary, and soon we the people in ga. will have our say, and yes she will get delegates here, what a rip off, the state of fla. needs to raise cain this is america and all our votes should be counted. AGREE?

    January 29, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  5. Pamela

    It's almost like Obama has become an "American Idol". Everyone thinks he's gorgeous, youthful, fun, cool, dreamy, and the hip choice. How sad that people are not realizing yet that we still have no idea how he plans to accomplish his dream, through the congress. He has yet to say a word about how he intends to make these hopes and dreams come true. Anyone can spin a beautiful "fairy tail". We could hire a great professor or other speaker to make the same speeches. The real question continues to be "HOW"?? Why don't all you Obama idols and fans want to know how he intends to get you all the gifts he is promising??? At least Edwards and Clinton explain how they plan to achieve their promises.

    January 29, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  6. Dave

    The idea of a candidate who does not fit the bill of a white, male mold does not scare me in the least, but I do hope that the first representative of that group will not sully those that follow and will instead provide a positive example for our future generations to emulate. Senator Clinton and her husband personify many undesirable, amoral and unethical qualities that I hope will not continue among our society or especially our nation's leaders. I would hope that specific segments of our population, and the majority, would select those individuals who would positively represent our society and their particular race, creed or culture more effectively than someone like Senator Clinton does for the female segment of the population. There are many more capable, intelligent and ethical individuals who could more effectively and positively become the first female President of the United States. I would be the first person in line to vote for such a person, but cannot support an individual of such low moral character and personal ethos as Senator Hillary Clinton, and I hope in my heart of hearts that our American population feels the same way.

    January 29, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  7. Jayna

    Any presidential candidate will be lucky to get 51% of the vote. Our country is that divided. Hopefully this woman, once people give her a chance to accomplish some of the goals she has described to improve our country, that divide will begin to fade some. She has proven her ability to work with republicans to get policy changes that have benefited the electorate. I think her ability to lead has been way underestimated and the potential she has to improve the country overlooked by many who are allowing themselves to get hung up in petty diversions, narrow thinking, and end up missing the big picture.

    January 29, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  8. Margarita



    January 29, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  9. Nextprez

    We announce:

    Prez and Commander in Chief Hillary Clinton 08!

    January 29, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  10. John in Columbus, OH

    Did you catch that cackle laugh when Chris Matthews asks Hillary whether she broke the rules?

    Win at all cost.

    Who cares about the rules.

    I think the Clintons have fought so much against the Bush machine that they have become just like them.

    It's time to close the door on the 90s and look to the future.

    January 30, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  11. Leah DiMarco, TX

    People who payed close attention to the election are aware of the following:

    1. Obama won the vote of FL democrats who voted today as per CNN, FOX, and MSNBC
    2. Obama won the votes of FL democrats who voted in the last month
    3. Clinton overall lead comes from the 1/2 million absentee votes cast over a month ago

    The playing field is even and wide open on Super Tuesday

    January 30, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  12. Sandy A.

    I am so disappointed in the news coverage by CNN. If Obama had received such an overwhelming vote, they probably wouldn't have cut his speech like they did Hillary Clinton's.. It's amazing they would show Huckabee's speech in it's entirety, but not Clinton's. It's just another example of how the media in general has distorted this race. For those who say it wasn't fair because Barack Obama didn't compete – neither did Hillary or Edwards. If the voter's of Florida didn't know Barack Obama's stance on the issues, they must have their head in the sand. How many democratic debates have their been? How much TV coverage has their been? I think this is a great victory for Hillary and a great indicator for how the election will go on Super Tuesday.

    January 30, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  13. sam

    Matt Scott – 'would of been"


    Did you mean "would HAVE been'?

    January 30, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  14. tomdavie


    All these people are going to vote for Obama. He doesnt need any qualifications. We are TV generation. we are ZOMBIES who just believe what the TV says.

    yes master. Obama is great. Yes master , Obama can unite us all.

    The media says so. Fossils John Kerry and Ed Kennedy say so.

    The biggest endorsement of the entire campaign is Bill Clinton. Ted Kennedy was never even a nominee, and John kerry of course blew the last election.

    January 30, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  15. Arron

    Democratic Floridian's opinions matter. I feel sorry that their representatives let them down and lost the people's delegates. Worse, I can't help but cringe when watching Hillary Clinton desperately spin the truth.

    It IS telling everyone the race is off and declaring victory when no one shows up. It's pathetic to dance in the end zone of a half filled stadium.

    January 30, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  16. Ginny CA

    Hillary had every right to celebrate her huge win in Florida. I listened to her speech tonight where she thanked her supporters for their vote of confidence.
    By the way, did I miss it or did Obama thank the 567,903 Florida voters who cast votes for him? Oh, I'm sure he did because it would have been the only decent thing to do. Wait a minute; now I remember, this evening he said the primary election in Florida amounted to nothing. So I guess he didn't thank them afterall.

    January 30, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  17. JohnS

    Watch LOU at CNN:

    The voters in NH are very upset with Hillary. Apparently, Hillary PROMISED them that she will NOT participate in the process in FL. Seeing her celebrate a win, the people in NH said they feel like "the Clintons have played them for suckers.""" CAN ANYONE EVER TRUST THE CLINTONS???????

    If you need Obama's specific plans for the nation, please write to them and they will send you the related packet!

    January 30, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  18. Kate

    It's "none has," not "none have." More journalists and fewer interns, please, CNN.

    January 30, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  19. Anna

    This is dirty politics at its best. Hillary Clinton will do anything, no matter how low and morally wrong it is, to come out on top. All the candidates agreed to the rules, and now CLinton is trying to break them because she wants to "make sure Floridians voices are heard." What we don't hear her do is thank South Carolina voters for voting for her. Clearly, she pnly picks and chooses the voices that deserve to be thanked and fought for.

    Once again, Hillary Clinton exemplifies all that is wrong with politics today. I don't care how similar her policies are to Obama or Edwards, if the DNC changes their ruling and Clinton becomes the nominee, I will vote Republican or Green. I cannot and will not support a person who exhibits this type of character. I can only imagine the spin and lies and fairy tales her administration would try and sell us if she were to be elected.

    January 30, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  20. Donna

    I wish people would stop stereotyping Obama supporters, I am one of those 25% of black voters that will support Hillary, just like Maxine Waters. I just don't think Obam is experienced enough on foreign policy and he doesn't seem tough enough to go up against McCain.

    An Obama convention would consist of speeches about coming together with noone hitting McCain or Bush, poor debate performances while millions watch, flowers and love beads, ads about his extremely liberal record that will turn off any independent that thought twice about voting for him. We need a DLC democrat this time around.

    January 30, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  21. Truethis

    i just looked through my Crystal ball..........I think an endorsement from Al Gore is coming soon and I see Oprah heading to California.

    January 30, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  22. geoff - olywa

    So again – CNN's exit polling results do not jive with the exit polling results discussed by Tim Russert at NBC and posted by CBS.

    I would like to see someone flesh out why the analysis at CNN is different from that of CBS and NBC.

    January 30, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  23. Bradley

    The people of Florida and Michigan have spoken! They want Hillary Clinton as their candidate. Now, do voters wishes count for anything anymore, or are we truly living in a two party dictatorship that tells the people who they may or may not elect to office?

    January 30, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  24. K, Florida

    Living in Florida and Yes, having voted, I will say that it was Obama who called my Cell phone to ask for money and aired advertisements on television. Hillary did not campaign, she fundraised. My neighbors held fundraisers for Obama also. I am not stupid nor uneducated. I am not a lamb being willingly led to the slaughter. I did not vote for George Bush in 2000 nor 2004. I saw the outcome of what those that did vote for him has given us. I also do not listen to the media as if they were gospel. We've seen what listening to them does for us. I also as an American expect, NO DEMAND, that my vote count! Play any game that you will, but MY VOTE as a member of this society is GUARANTEED under the Constitution! I am ashamed that more people aren't screaming foul over this. If the shoe were on the other foot there would be h-e-double hockey sticks to pay! Are we so cowed that we are unable to think rationally anymore? Thank you for all of those who have enough integrity to exercise your civic duty, no matter which party you voted for!!!!! Please know that our children and grandchildren need us to be adults. We need to think about how our decisions will affect them.

    January 30, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  25. sharon R

    the prominent democrats have been in the house for along time, I can remember getting under my desk in case of a nuke attack and ted kennedy being thier and where has jfk daughter been and kerry what a rough life they are just pissed because the clintons don"t play by the blue bloods rules and all the old 6o dems are change gmb . its ok to run adds but not to have a rally after the polls close.

    January 30, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
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