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. BobW

    Hooray! Hillary wins the Ms. Florida contest. Obama supporters, send Hillary a tiara!

    January 29, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  2. spdubois

    obama did run ads on cable. In fact Lou Dobbs & Wolfe laughed about it earlier. We will deliver California one week from today to Hillary Clinton.

    January 29, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  3. Ari

    I'd denounce the fact that Hillary has practically cheated to "win" Florida and Michigan....but that's how George got his second term. She learns from the best.

    I only wished that Obama or Edwards won, only to see how fast Clinton would drop her campaign to have the votes count. Oh that would be amusing.

    January 29, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. pam Eugene OR

    John Edwards: Please, I beg you please go home and throw your support to Obama. You are just a spoiler at this point and I will never forgive if you give this election to the Republicans. I will never vote for Hillary. NEVER

    January 29, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  5. Maria, Memphis

    CNN, is this an attempt to justify your having the Democratic numbers on the bottom of the screen throughout your coverage?

    This is anything but journalism. What a joke.

    I will NEVER vote for this woman. EVER. She represents everything that is the worst in our politics currently. For those who wonder why her negatives are so high, open your eyes.

    January 29, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. B Smith

    Hillary Clinton continues, steadily, to win the races and the polls! She WILL prevail in the end, and be stronger for the race that she's endured already!

    January 29, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. Nebraska Dem

    This makes me ill. She signed a pledge thinking that keeping the other candidates out of Michigan and Florida was to her advantage, but knowing she would break it if it proved beneficial later on. I dislike cheaters.

    January 29, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  8. cathy

    So why does it not surprise me that FloriDUH bought Hillary's ploy to demand delegates be seated and vote for her?

    January 29, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  9. Jeff

    If Barack Obama received 50% of the vote in Florida do you know how many Obama supporters would be saying that it proves Obama is strong in this critical swing state ! The press would be awash in articles about how strong Obama was in Florida. We'll see how Super Tuesday plays out, but please - all Obama backers (including the national media) can you at least admit for ONE SECOND that you are willing to ALWAYS argue that everything he does is right and EVERYTHING Hillary does is wrong. Thanks for listening.

    January 29, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. wow

    If she gets her delegates seated from Florida, it will prove that she OWNS the party. Democrats deserve to lose FOREVER if they fold to her...

    January 29, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  11. Chad

    Elizabeth fails to note that Hillary was ahead in Florida for some time. Obama has also attended fundraisers there and he's run national adds that appeared on prime time in Florida. She did play up Florida because she was going to win. Obama played up his coalition in South Carolina although he came in third among whites and second among Hispanics.

    Stop the bitter name calling and consider qualifications, experience, and ability.

    January 29, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  12. CDH

    How can you win something that you and your party said was not going to be a contest. Hillary is a joke!! Everyday that become more and more clear. She is on TV all smug! Still more than 50 percent of the people voted against you.

    January 29, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  13. Mike

    In the comment by David all I can say is, there they go again. Of course Clinton is going to piss off Conservative Republicans. He was the one successful Democrat to get the presidency twice in over 30 years. I can gauge how well Hillary Clinton will do, and how afraid neo-conservatives must be, when there is a flood of anti-Clinton comments online. I have a feeling they are deeply afraid of how badly Hillary Clinton will trounce them in November 08, and they will have to eat crow when once again a Clinton will have to clean up after a Bush. Obambi would be a dream come true for them to keep the White House, and they know it.

    Here's one military officer who is happy for Clinton's victory in Florida!

    January 29, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  14. Sheri

    Elizabeth, the candidates were allowed to have fundraisers in Florida. And I believe all 3 Democratic candidates ran ads across the state. So Hillary is no different than Obama in Edwards in that respect.

    January 29, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  15. Alice

    If the DNC allows these delegates to be counted after Clinton, Edwards and Obama all agreed not to campaign in FL and that the primary results would not be used to apportion delegates, then we deserve whatever the GOP serves up. This arguably is the sleaziest of the Clinton moves in the last few weeks...and there is lots of competition...This is from one of the NH voters who received a flyer with the inaccurate accusation that Obama is not pro-choice. I am thoroughly disgusted although, according to demographics, I should be one of the people in Hillary's camp.

    January 29, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  16. Aidyn

    That is an exit poll that I want to hear!!

    January 29, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  17. Don

    Elizabeth, all the canidates were allowed to fundraise in Florida, including Obama and Edwards. Do your research. Clinton has broken no rules. Obama did, by running ads in Florida. Oopp, he didnt know..lol

    Voters do count. This is a democracy after all. Your just upset that Clinton won a very diverse state, and she did it without trying. This is what happens when you do not have the media spinning misleading information.

    If anyone is wrong in Florida, its Obama, who had the same playing field and lost. He broke the rules, where is the outrage.

    Clinton 08

    January 29, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  18. Michelle, AL

    Watching CNN's report from the Obama headquarters in Florida, I am shocked to hear Suzanne Malveaux say, when asked what Obama thinks of Clinton winning in Florida, that Obama "basically laughed it off." She also said this was a "meaningless" victory.

    Is he serious? Right now, 41% of the vote is in, and Clinton has almost half a million votes. Half a million votes is meaningless? Those people came out to support their candidate just so their voice could be heard. They don't care about delegates, why should Obama? Shouldn't he care about what the PEOPLE who actually live in Florida want?

    Clinton could well end up with nearly 3/4 to a million votes, and right now she's got almost double Obama's total. Laughing it off, indeed. Obama is so arrogant and thirsty for power. You think he really cares about ALL Americans, or just the ones who are voting for him?

    January 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  19. s.positive

    This is making a hill out of a road bump...

    January 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. Matt

    Ingnoring the delegates for a minute....

    It is amazing how South Carolina is trumpeted as a "huge" Obama win....despite its demographics being unrepresentative of the nation as a whole.

    FL....much more respresentative of the nation's population, and indeed a very god sign for Clinton.

    January 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  21. robert

    Florida should count...every state should have a voice.

    Don't listen to Obama and Edwards tell you it didn't matter to win here.

    January 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. Ayanna

    All the Democratic candidates pledged not to campaign in Florida in protest of the Florida democratic party's decision to withhold delegates. Just days before the primary, Hillary starts bad-mouthing Obama for "not paying attention to Florida voters", huh???? Then she announces endorsements, celebrations in the state and fundraisers??? Excuse me, but what is the difference between this and campaigning?

    Billary doesn't stick to her word. This has insulted the intelligence of voters and she should be ashamed of herself. How can she be trusted to represent the American people as President when she can't resist the opportunity to get ahead on the backs of Florida voters who have been disenfranchised in this primary?

    January 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  23. Benjamin

    @ Young Liberal (and young you must be to be so naive): and of course Obama DOESN'T want these votes counted, HE LOST!!! BIG!!

    January 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  24. shaun

    If there's any doubt what hillary clintons about, then this political stunt should clear the air. This woman will stop at nothing to win the nomination, even if it goes against the interest of the party. She lost S.C, and lost it big, so to try an get publicity for something as meaningless as this is a joke.

    January 29, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  25. Dell

    This was not a contest since there was no ability to fairly campaign by Dem. candidates. Hillary's claim of victory is more of the same bullying tactics that the Clintons' are famous for. My only concern is that more people don't see this.

    January 29, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18