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. Bill

    Its not right of Clinton to come to florida

    January 29, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  2. Mr. T

    The media won't cover this win in FL because it is meaningless just like the Michigan win, the delegates won't count. Hillary keeps racking up meaningless primaries and still down with with delegate counts.

    January 29, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  3. Emmanuel Obi

    How the Democratic Party handles the issue of delegates for Michigan and Florida will have a definite impact on the general election.How can the dems disenfranchise voters? Will Howard Dean's leadership lead the democratic party to ruins and allow the Republicans remain in the White House?

    January 29, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  4. Mike

    Delegates matter, of course. However, this is a momentum retriever for Hillary Clinton. She already has large leads in all the major states on Super Tuesday. Do not underestimate the ability of the Clinton's to pull this nomination out, despite all the liberal so-called establishment Democrats who desparately want to nominate another Michael Dukakis in Barack Obama. JFK? Please! As Sen Clinton said, JFK had a track record of making significant change through legislation, he was a war hero, and wrote books like Profiles in Courage. Barack Hussein Obama is NO John F. Kennedy.

    Hillary Clinton understands how the Republican swiftboaters work, and she will dismantle them. Go HILLARY!!

    January 29, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  5. donna

    This is a great win. Even though there are no delegates, Democrats turned out in almost the same numbers as Republicans and took the race seriously. Just becuase they did not campaign here, doesn't mean we are not up on the issues. Give the voters some credit!!!!

    January 29, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  6. Jonathan Adams

    What a joke.

    We already know that Hillary Clinton has more name recognition than Barack Obama. That is all that this election in Florida was – a popularity contest. Barack Obama has shown that when he gets the chance to show the people who he is and what he stands for, he converts voters who thought they were strongly pro-Clinton.

    Shame on the Democratic Party for creating this situation in Florida and Michigan, two of the most important states in the national election. If a Republican wins the national election, most of the blame lies with you.

    This speech by HIllary is a joke by the way. YOU DIDN"T WIN ANYTHING BUT A POPULARITY CONTEST.

    January 29, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. Tom

    for all the Obama supporters who will now come on here and say it does not matter since there are no delegates.....then why did the Obama campaign make a big deal out of all the uncommitted votes in Michigan (which also has no delegates this year)....it sure looks like Obama will lose this state in votes much, much greater than he won South Carolina in votes....so it does matter in the long run.....

    January 29, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  8. wsberlin

    The Clinton campaign conducted a artful, yet decietful, shadow campaign (in FL) which transparantly violatated the purpose and intention of the DNC ruling that all canditates pledged to abide by. Someone willing to cheat and decieve at all costs to gain advantage would not serve America well. I hope that the recycled, tired and toxic politics of cadidates who desire power more than they love their country will come to an end, or at least lose sway, someday soon.

    January 29, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  9. some guy

    Typical biased against Clinton in CNN.

    Nowhere in the article was it mentioned that Obama's campaign have been airing ads in Florida.

    January 29, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  10. Leah

    The race DOES NOT count!
    No delegates will be seated and should NOT be.
    People need to play by the rules.
    If it had been a true race in Florida then the 'poor' people would have shown up at the polls not only those Democrats that went to vote because of the property tax issue that was on the ballot. You can not look at the results and think that they are what they would have been if the 'counted'.

    Obama '08

    January 29, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  11. irma

    Obama pulled his ad after the Clinton camp called him on it. Why are you saying none of them advertised?

    January 29, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  12. Elizabeth

    I don't understand how people are not outraged that she recently attended fundraisers there and sucked up to voters after SC. I like a candidate with integrity. She would gain more respect sticking to the party rules; she has not been such a supporter of rules... i.e. Nevada caucuses. And I know she didn't personally launch the lawsuit but she didn't come out and say, "No, this goes against what we already agreed upon...", etc.

    We support female leaders, but we also support leaders who lead and don't change positions not even one month within the primaries.

    Edwards and Obama did not set foot in Florida for fundraisers and to make speeches. Will anyone give them credit for this?

    This Indepedent voter is SICKENED by this and at my open primary, I will note vote for HIllary.

    January 29, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  13. Michael

    GO HILLARY GO!!! Here is a true test of how Hillary will win the Democratic Nomination and in November 2008 the Presidency! Obama cannot win the big Democratic states. He has the minority black vote. Not the popular vote for the majority of Americans. The ultral liberal side of the Democratic Party is making a big mistake in endorsing Obama. HILLARY can and will win!!! Florida proves it! GO GIRL GO!!!!

    January 29, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  14. Black Women in Florida for Hillary

    President Hillary Clinton '08

    January 29, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  15. Chris, NY

    wow..is this woman shameless or what? I will NEVER EVER vote for someone who is desperate to achieve anything. She has no dignity.

    January 29, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  16. Awg

    I don't think the Independents voted in Florida. This Hillary win is sooooo off base.

    January 29, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  17. manubi

    The dog and pony show of the Democratic primary in Florida is now over. As an independent, I was very enthusiastic about the candidates from the Democratic party. After all these nonsense between the Clintons and Obama, I think it is time to energize Michael Bloomberg's base for a real change!

    Bloomberg 08!

    January 29, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  18. Tim

    1. The big counties have not reported according to the Department of State here in Florida, so I would be cautious about picking Clinton early.

    2. It is our belief that the property-tax amendment was the big draw and cause for today's turnout. Given that many young people don't own property, is it possible that Obama didn't get the normal turnout of younger people for this primary?

    January 29, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  19. irma

    I would love to see HIllary as President. Thanks for asking.....

    January 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  20. Benjamin

    I don't care what the Florida Politicians did to lose the delegates in Florida (And Michigan), but it's an injustice to the American People that their votes in these states are virtually worthless when it comes time to choose the Democratic Presidential Candidate.

    Wasn't it Florida that had the final say when Bush was elected President on 2000? But now, let's drop their votes into the trash can when they leave the voting booth.

    Very disappointing. Obama turns his back on Hillary at the State of the Union, and if he has a slim margin over Hillary when 5 FEB is over, he'll certainly snub her again along with the voters from Florida and Michigan.

    January 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. Dana

    She's doing such a phony thing...why?? Her "winning" speech, ongoing as I type, is such a sham. There are no delegates from this. She's acting like there was a real campaign waged – and won! – in Florida. Does she think we're all stupid? I'll have a hard time supporting her if she wins the general, no kidding.

    January 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  22. Mike

    Is it me or was a former federal judge who was impeached by a Democratic Congress, and who's cohort was pardoned by Bill Clinton, on stage and a part of the team that introduced Hillary? The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    January 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  23. Young Liberal

    Of course she wants them to count the delegates, she won. Typical Clinton hogwash.

    Obama 08

    January 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  24. Jr.

    I listened to Hillary speaking in Florida and she stated once again that she has 35 years of experience!?! How long will she keep up this blatant lie?

    January 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  25. Jon, NY

    Obama and Edwards – we respect you both for standing by your decision not to campaign in Florida. Unlike some one who loves to hog the limelight without any shame.

    January 29, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
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