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. Sue (Seattle, WA)

    She wants to have them count now? Why, because CNN is predicting her as the winner. Speaking of which, CNN, haven't you learned your lesson on 'predicting the winner' yet? 37% reporting and you predict her as the winner? No bias there...

    January 29, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  2. Jean

    Did Obama's running of TV ads violate the no-campaign pledge in Florida? Why does CNN not include this information? Why does CNN belittle a Clinton Landslide in Florida where the population if far greater in number than the population of any of the previous primary elections? And why does CNN give a Kennedy endorsement of Obama excessive airtime and NO coverage of the Obama-Rezko relationship on the same day Rezko is sent to jail?

    January 29, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  3. pj (non-partisan independent)

    if American voters fall for this rediculous move from Hilary and vote her in, and if the Democratic party is week enough to fold under her pressure, and if CNN is soft enough to cover her so called victory and not rip it apart for the sham that it is, then we deserve to have a venimous snake like her as president. God save us all if her and Bill take their cunning lies to the White House.

    January 29, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. Saundra

    You can't dismiss the fact that a half a million Floridians voted for Hillary tonight. It counts.

    January 29, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  5. Matt

    Obama wants to disenfranchise voters in Florida and Michigan. It's disgusting and goes against all that the Democratic Party stands in. More Democrats voted today in Florida than voted in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, and South Carolina combined! And Hillary is leading Obama by nearly 200,000 voters. This cannot and will not be ignored. It is a clear mandate for Hillary going forward!

    And to the people who are bashing her saying "do you think we're stupid?" Apparently it's Obama who think Floridians are stupid. He think they're too stupid to read a newspaper and tune in to national coverage of this campaign. He thinks they're too stupid to watch the debates and determine where the candidates stand on the issues. He thinks they're too stupid to make up their own minds without having had the gracing of his presence in their town halls and school gyms and senior centers and local churches. If that's is how he thinks about the American people, he can keep his politics of "hope" and "change."

    January 29, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  6. jess

    It's sad that the powers that be in Michigan and Florida chose to move the primary up. It's equally as sad that those residents did not pay attention when this was NEWS. But its not fair to reinstate the delegates because its slanted at this point. In Michigan, Clinton only got 55% against NOBODY. In Florida, the younger voters (and many others) stayed in because they were told their vote didn't count. To reinstate now would be to an injustice to potential voters. Maybe this should be warning to PAY ATTENTION.

    The DNC will not reinstate however, they have made that clear. The Supreme Court has made it clear that the DNC has the power to run the campaign how they wish. So in others words, its not really worth arguing about. Go out and support your candidate for Super Tuesday!!!

    January 29, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  7. Cerbere

    From France.
    The problem is not to know if it is fair or unfair to rip the FLs of their votes. The point is that decision has been made and should have been respected. Hillary Clinton did not respect her pledge and that's shameful....

    January 29, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  8. Dav In Dallas

    I have watching cnn on presidential race and Hillery arrived way before she was projected a winner were as Barack Obama didn't even show up why because there was no delagates. I believe what Mrs Clinton did for Florida was even though the state of Florida means nothing for the elections according to the commitee who took away the delagates. The People Florida means something to Mrs Clinton even though I get no delagates. So that tells me that Mrs Clinton cares for people even though she gets nothing out of it. It says the People mean alot. where as Mr Obama says what all the hoo-pla for Mrs Clinton you didn't get no delegates for the victory. seems like Mr Obama don't care if he dont get anything out of it

    January 29, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  9. Rodney Dallas, TX

    Leave it to a Clinton to claim a victory when nothing is at stake. I guess that pledge she signed about not participating in the primary does not men anything. Do the Clintons ever tell the truth?

    January 29, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  10. Diane

    The Clintons don't play fair. This is evident from their campaign. All the democrat candidates agreed to the rules re no campaigning and no delegates in Michigan and Florida. Now, the Clintons are against the sames rules they agreed to. If DNC agrees to overturn this decision then this primary process is fraudulent.
    CNN seems to be spinning this to the Clintons as usual and do not have objective reporting. I will never support the Clintons and their underhanded tactics.

    January 29, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  11. Bob Fisher

    I was happy to see the sanity return and give Hillary such a tremendous victory.
    Florida, unlike South Caroline is a microcosm of the entire country. Florida has the transplants from the north, as well as the latino population, the poor the wealthy and the retired, and the those affected by the mortgage crisis.

    January 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  12. Matt

    Elizabeth, fundraisers were always allowed. This in no way broke the rules and all candidates were free to host and attend fundraisers.

    January 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  13. Diane P

    Go Hillary!!!! You are a true winner & the BEST candidate for the Presidency!! The rest are sour grapes that continue to bash you!! The Florida win shows what is really going on - a very diverse population!!!! Go !!!! Go !!!!!!!! Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Obama is a very charismatic candidate, but, does not have the experience to go with it. You have our full support!!!!!!
    Bob & Diane Patterson

    January 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  14. Jayna

    If I lived in Florida I would be very angry that my vote doesn't count particularly when I have been thrilled to finally have a viable female candidate for President.

    January 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  15. joe





    WATCH OUT FEBRUARY 5TH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  16. Patricia

    I am very concerned at the bias CNN reporters seem to have regarding Clinton's success in Florida. Yes, no deligates won but all I heard from CNN was that the votes meant nothing. The turnout and the work that went into having their voices heard was to make a statement . This means something and the tone in your reporting it is an insult to the people of Florida. You should be ashamed of yourself for insulting the democates in Florida. You are obviously Obama biased.

    January 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  17. Justin

    You realize that she has only made the argument against the Democratic party's decision AFTER she knew that she would win. Had she lost either Mich. or FL she would not be asking the party to change their mind. She knows she will need those states to win after the recent key endorcments for Obama.

    January 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  18. Cindy

    Guess what...we Floridians do own televisions and do read newspapers...for all of your pundits to downplay Hillary's win here because "No Democrats campaigned there" is rediculous. We nitwits in Florida are certainly very much aware of Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton and voted accordingly. Please give us a little credit. And by the way...our votes never seem to count here so we are not surprised that the DNC is disenfranchising us now.

    January 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  19. Mark F


    January 29, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  20. Nap time... Cookies later.

    Actually, Elizabeth... The other candidates did indeed fundraise in Florida. Not sure why CNN is forgetting to report that in these articles. You know if Obama would have won Florida, they would be tooting his horn, and so would he be.

    January 29, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  21. Carolyn

    Hey CNN – you covered Huckabee's speech in its entirety but cut off Hillary after about 30 seconds. What gives?

    January 29, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  22. Beren

    Here are some sick remarks concerning the Democratic voters and what they mean to Obama –

    "Obama described the primary as a 'beauty contest' Tuesday, and his campaign issued a statement declaring the race a tie in the delegate count: 'Zero for Obama, zero for Clinton.'"

    I don't think the Florida voters would agree that their opinions in government leaders are worthless.

    NO candidate campaigned in Florida. Clinton attended PERMITTED private fundraisers.

    But that doesn't stop the Clinton haters from trying to cry foul at nothing but fair play. All they care about is ensuring the win for Clinton doesn't count.

    January 29, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  23. Jim Mihelcic

    It's time to be fare to Hillary Clinton. Like it or not, her victory in Florida
    is important,; and I'm disappointed you didn't have the courtesy to cover her whole
    victory speech. After all the coverage you gave to the Kennedys, I don't think it's
    asking for too much.

    January 29, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  24. Juan

    IRMA: Billary complained that Obama aired commercials on CNN. They objected because since CNN is a national network, the ads aired in Florida. Obama stopped the ads after Hillary's complaint apparently. By the by, after this flack, what did I see run on CNN when I watching the Situation Room today? An ad for Hillary. What did I see when I was watching when the polls opened this morning? You got it, an ad for Hillary Rodham Clinton! He didn't attend fundraisers in the state, like Billary. Nor did he seek endorsements, like Billary.

    January 29, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  25. Katie

    of COURSE Obama doesn't want these delegates to count...HE LOST!!

    January 29, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
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