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. WW - New York

    How funny! No matter what Clinton supporters always have to bring race into the situation. I can tell you this much.. Perhaps you need to look deep within yourself and ask why am I supporting her? If it's simply because of race then you should look at everyone running "regardless" of party and vote that way!!! It's sad in 2008 the "hate" is still real! I guess it is fear of change.. I will pray for you all.

    January 30, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  2. Mark Kraft

    When asked about campaigning in Florida even though she had agreed not to, Hillary pounded the podium, wagged her finger, and yelled...


    January 30, 2008 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  3. libelian

    So it looks like maybe John Edwards is the only one who didn't "cheat" in any way here? No commercials, no secret fundraisers, no hedging his bets? Maybe that's why he won a number of the smaller counties up in the panhandle (including the aptly named "Union County"). Small town folks have a tendency to see through B.S. – no matter how slick.

    January 30, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  4. K, Florida

    Quick question: WHY is Obama Still running campaign commercials in Florida? It is 2:30 in the morning EST?!?!?!?

    January 30, 2008 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  5. Trece

    The leader of our country should be a male not a women. Hillary is not a winner yet. OBAMA has won IOWA, SOUTH CAROLINA, and the most DELEGATES in NEVADA. FLORIDA does not count . The Clinton's had eight years in the white house. I am proud of Obama and I hope he wins with Edwards as his running mate. AGAIN FLORIDA DOES NOT COUNT.

    January 30, 2008 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  6. Rita CA

    You will win win California Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Great win tonight in Florida

    January 30, 2008 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
  7. The Observer

    Floridians were treated like crap in 2000 – and yet again they are disenfranchised.

    Will the politicians ever learn?

    January 30, 2008 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  8. Carrie

    By now, Hillary's problem is that she expected to have the nomination wrapped up. When she signed on to not campaign in Florida six months ago, Hillary thought that Florida wouldn't be a factor. With Obama running well against her, Hillary is getting scared. I see the results in Florida that 50% of the voters will never vote for her. With McCain winning tonight fairly, there is noway that Hillary could beat him with just the Democratic Base. Obama is the only Democrat that can get votes from both sides and Independents. Most importantly, unite Americans for change and hope to stop all this anger.

    Obama 08

    January 30, 2008 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  9. Alecki

    This isn't journalism, CNN. Where on CNN is there a Clinton supporter.

    Obama supporters are certainly covered on your panel of experts.

    Please be fair and have a CLINTON supporter.

    January 30, 2008 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  10. Alecki

    Has anyone read the articles in the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune about Obama's ties to Resko?

    Please report on this topic.

    January 30, 2008 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  11. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Johns, it is nothing to do with trust, she is trying to let Country hear voter's voice, would you make a fool of yourself? You should trust yourself first. Hillary is doing good thing perfectly, everybody's vote should be counted.

    January 30, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  12. Nik, Houston, TX

    Obama supporters come here crying about how this FL contest was neaningless, but they sure take the time to comment and cry about it. Doesn't sound like they truly believe what they say.

    January 30, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  13. CST

    Well the fact that the media reports that Obama has not advertised in Florida shows me how fair and balanced they really are. I live in Florida and I watched an Obama ad before the polls closed here. I already know what they will say...it's a national ad campaign we can't control where they play our ads.......we arent stupid folks. Stop playing the role of victim and own up to the fact that you are just as much an underhanded politician as everyone else running for president. The difference is you have nothing in your record to support your rhetoric.

    January 30, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  14. danielo

    Hillary Cry babies:
    COMMON SENSE: You cannot set or change the rules after the match.

    Its so clear Hillary plays by the rules only when it favours her. Or is it a question of whatever it takes to win.

    Stop crying over Florida and Michigan. There are 40+ more states to be won.

    January 30, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  15. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    Republicans and Indies voted for Hillary. True Democrats would never.

    January 30, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  16. Chris

    I am voting for Obama if he wins.
    If the Clintons win I am voting for McCain.

    I am tired of political deception with no real leadership with a big smile...

    January 30, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  17. Nancy

    Can no one see that Hillary broke the rules? She does whatever, says whatever she pleases. She is a dirty politician who needs to quit. She is a disgrace to women everywhere.
    Vote Obama, now more than ever!

    January 30, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. Toronto

    All the OBAMA supporter are saying Hillary win in Florida does not count, just like
    .....Bush explanation for his win over Gore,- voter do'nt count just DELEGATES !
    Please America do not elect OBAMA – he is BUSH incarnate!

    January 30, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  19. anand

    Many Hillary bashers keep finding faults at every action of hers. Agreed that every politician has some faults. Obama’s faults are being barely mentioned in the media. The problem is that the media is corrupting the minds of the voters. They have developed a smoke screen to confuse the voters. Look at the Florida victory speech on CNN/MSNBC by Hillary. Wolf Blitzer was interrupting Hillary’s speech. That goes to show the deep bias against Hillary. I would have never said this but Mr. Colmes on Hannity and Colmes on Fox gives a realistic picture of the race rather than playing with some sound bites and not explaining the complete speech. Obama’s victory speech was carried in full after the S.C. primary. Even Ted Kennedy’s speech was carried in full. It is also surprising to read the comments made on the message board stating that if Hillary wins the nomination they will vote Republican. Whatever her faults are they will be a tiny fraction of what a Republican in White House will do for the country. Do you want all the money spent on Iraq war or spent for the country to take care of the needs of the people in USA. Think of what the next President can do for you rather than trying to fall for the Republicans who are trying to split the Democrats.

    HILLARY 2008

    January 30, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  20. Angela

    Alecki – they won't mention Rezko because CNN has it's own biased agenda.

    January 30, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. DD, New York

    Michigan and Florida DESERVE to have their delegates/votes counted.....NO MATTER WHO WON THE RESPECTIVE STATE. Otherwise it is disenfranchising the votes, and THAT is not democratic at all.

    January 30, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  22. Fair,Washington,Dc

    You Obamasupporters are a funny bunch...you guys need to get jobs with some of these campaigns...yall can "spin" with the best of them. Theres no doubt if Obama had won and he was asking for the delegates to count(and believe me he would) yall would have a different spin to fit the circumstance... Super Tuesday is coming and as I think you Obama supporters are gonna see what Obama is really up against.

    January 30, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. Sue, NY

    Is there anyone out there that sees the potential damage to the USA continuing the Bush/Clinton/Bush Clinton dynasty. This is not good for America. Although Hillary Clinton may have experience she also has personal drive over care and love of her country and people. She has run her campaign with lies and deceit and walking the line of the rules all the time. You can bet that if Hillary did not feel comfortable that she was going to win in Florida she would not be pushing for these delegates. Doesn't anyone see through this? This country was afraid not to put Bush back in again because we were in the middle of a war and look what we got...more LIES....don't make the same mistake. If you watch her campaign you will see it continues. We were unable to get anything done these past 7 years because Bush would not work with Congress and Congress with Bush and if Hillary is in the White House it will begin again. ...whether or not you like Hillary and Bill you have to admit they come with a lot of baggage and this country will continue to be in gridlock if they get in. The Republicans will not work with her.

    January 30, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. Vince, Arizona



    I am an Obama supporter… I will vote for him even though it seems the numbers are against him. Hillary's scorched earth campaign will get her the nomination, but she is EXACTLY who the Republicans want to run against. I challenge ANY of you to argue with that! (Fox News will throw a party the night she wins the nomination!)


    And you will have only yourselves to blame because of blind loyalty and refusal to open your minds.

    God help us all when we get another 4 years of Republican rule as they keep the White House, and re-take the Senate and House.

    You read it here, first.

    I am copying this, sending it to myself, and will pull it out and re-post it after McCain beats the brakes off of Hillary in November, just so I can say.. I TOLD YOU SO!

    January 30, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. Pipin' Dog

    Please. To say that Florda voters didn't know Obama is rediculous. The media has been covering him non-stop, so unless people haven't turned on their TV in a month they know who he is and his stands. Furthur more, to say the votes of over 1 million Floridians "don't count" is an insult to every voter in this country. Finally, when is the media going to treat Obama like a candidate? He is never asked hard questions like what would you actually DO? Why don't you ever question his campaign tactics without mentioning the Clintons?

    January 30, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
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