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. Ray

    She thanked the voters of Florida, whats so wrong with that? Did Obama do it..NO, he turned his back on them also.

    January 29, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  2. Lori, Lutz, Fl

    Thanks Benjamin. I thought her speech was great. I am a registered Rep who had to vote Rep today; but I can't wait for the general election to vote for her. I like the way the Clintons ran the economy. Yes I think they were a team. My dad is 76 years old & has never voted Democrat in his ENTIRE life. He said he cannot go along party lines this time though & will cast his vote for Hillary. His reasons are the war & the tax cuts for the rich. He also likes the leadership of the Clinton economy.

    January 29, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  3. David Pipkin

    It seems that the ENTIRE CNN cast of reporters/commentators got it very wrong by giving unquestioned support to the Bush invasion of Iraq...not one negative voice at the time. The same fools now throw in unison all their might in an unquestioned support to Obama. It should be embarrissing that as a group of supposed news reporters that you are so openly biased. You are a bunch of fools with power.....gee where did we hear that before.

    January 29, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  4. CaliforniaDem

    Gets the facts of the ban before you write a word. The ban EXCLUDED fundraising. The ban was broken by Obama when he ran ads in Florida on cable. Clinton did not set foot in the state to campaign. But – let's put all that aside and talk about the 2.5 million Floridians who have just been told by the media, Howard Dean and Obama – that their votes don't count. You don't support women – you have no problem in gutting them – and their supporters who have had to deal with the fact that women were the last to get the vote – a half-century after black men. No one talks about that – no one talks about the violence against women – no one has a debate or forum about women's issues – but raise one question about Obama – and you are called a racist. What is it that you hated about the Clinton years – was it the peace, was it the prosperity, was it the way we were held in high esteem internationally (I know, I traveled over 100,000 miles internationally during those years). What did you hate – was it Hillary saying women’s issues are human issues – what did you hate? What did our mothers fight for all these years – we are resurrecting the dead to endorse. How the heck does anyone know what Caroline Kennedy’s mother or father would feel about this – that is only a comment an idiot would make – we are as bad as the Republicans who are trying to raise Reagan from the dead. Yes, I am mad – I am mad as hell that this campaign has turned into a race where it is OK to “beat up” a woman – but we can’t ask one question of a man – wake up America – wake up American women – this election is about you – and we will not have another chance for a very long time –

    January 29, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  5. Kathy

    This IS important. Anytime America votes it is important. Voters went to the polls and voted for the candidate they believe will be the best for the job. They don't care about who won the last primary, who endorsed which candidate, or what the media has to say. They know the issues and they voted for the candidate who will best represent them. I predict the results of next Tuesday's primary will be the same as today's in Florida.

    January 29, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  6. Ayanna

    There is no victory! The votes do not count. The Democratic Party in Florida says they are irrelevant. They are refusing to choose a candidate for the party, which means the votes don't count.

    January 29, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  7. Linoq

    It is so ironic to see the inevitable nominee trying to get some media attention in Florida, as it counted for anything...... Hillary I hope your phoniness and selfishness are over, and a new chapter starts with an strong and united America!

    January 29, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  8. bob

    Delegates or not.. still real people voted in Florida. That's what counts. I think this Obama fever is just that .. a fever. There's no substance to his grand Oratory. When it all cools down, and the dust settles down, I hope Hillary is the next President. She will be good for the country.

    January 29, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  9. Amy, Kazoo

    Anyone want to wager a guess as to why Obama and Edwards didn't leave their names on the Michigan ballot but they did so in Florida?

    January 29, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  10. rl

    What a bogus win! No one campaigned there. It's all name recognition! The fact that she's celebrating only shows how shady and deceptive the Clintons are..

    January 29, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  11. RGV for Hillary

    I am so glad Clinton won. I hope they give her the delegates she deserves. I really hope CNN takes this victory for Clinton and make it a positive story tomorrow. CNN seems to only show negative stories on Clinton and give positive PR to Obama. CNN isn't fair. I wish Americans would just see that Clinton has the experience needed to run this nation. Americans need to see that Obama is nothing but a preacher. He is all talk and no action. Change and hope isn't going to help America. It isn't going to help the millions of uninsured Americans, or the economy. We need Hillary Clinton in the White House.

    January 29, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  12. observer

    The numbers are significant, which is interesting in light of the fact that there was no filth that comes with the both campaigns. Hillary should take this into account going into Tuesday despite some obvious double standards.

    January 29, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  13. Eric

    The Florida race was a level playing field as NO candidate campaigned there or had field operations there. Obama might have even had an advantage due to his national TV ads playing there.

    January 29, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  14. Boogie

    The great uniter insults Florida calling it a "beauty contest".
    The only reason Obama says that is because he got SPANKED in Florida...Clinton only attended approved fund raisers and so far is 51% to Obama's 30% with 45% counted.

    If he had a lead over Clinton...he'd be whining that it's NOT FAIR!

    So, I guess...as long as he WINS...he backs the people of that state...everyone else can go get tickled???

    This is ridiculous...this guy is a two headed baby.
    and his supporters need to spend more time listening to EVERYTHING he says...not just the stump and sound bites.
    He really wants it both ways.

    January 29, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  15. Derrick

    You really can't take anything from this primary as to the candidates did not put their campaigning efforts into the state. So as far as advertising and the stumping to get their word out, that wasn't done. Alot of Edwards & Obama campaigning is the stump work in the neighborhoods that is very crucial. Hillary knew the rules, why is she trying to change them or influence change in the twelth hour? If she is not willing to abide by party rules, what makes one think that she would abide by our government rules if chosen to govern our great country? Just a thought.

    January 29, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  16. rl

    What a bogus win! No one campaigned there. It's all name recognition! The fact that she's celebrating only shows how shady and deceptive the Clintons are..

    January 29, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  17. Rose

    While the vote may not give Hillary delegates, it should serve as a message that Hillary is not going to roll over. 51% of the vote to Hillary – I call that a "thumping". It will be repeated on Super Tuesday, where the delegates will count.

    January 29, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  18. Harrier

    Hey Dem08, Obama didn't win because HE DIDN'T CAMPAIGN IN FLORIDA.

    Hillary Clinton's last name is the same last name as a very popular former Democratic president, who also happens to be her husband. People know her name, and they know it more than they know Obama's name.

    She won by NAME RECOGNITION. Coasting on the Clinton legacy, as she's done for the past decade.

    January 29, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  19. jp

    WE HAVE HAD A NUT WITH NO EXPERIENCE THE LAST 7 YEARS, WHY NOT VOTE FOR SOMEONE WHO KNOWS HOW TO RUN THE COUNTRY, THAT IS SOMETHING THAT OBAMA DOESN'T HAVE. WE CANT STAND TO HAVE ANOTHER PRESIDENT LIKE THE LAST ONE. NO EXPERIENCE. AND WE THE UNITED STATES IS A LOT WORSE FOR IT.

    January 29, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  20. Mary

    I find it so funny that the Obama supporters are so nasty when they don't win. Obama had his commercials on in Florida but lets face it, he knew he wasn't going to win in Florida so this just gives him one more excuse to make about why he didn't win.
    When he wins, it's all about him and how great he is, but when he loses it's because those darn Clinton's are being mean to him again or their cheating or what ever other excuse he can come up with. I am willing to bet that if he had won Florida, he would be playing a different tune. Also, if Hillary would have acted like Obama did, at the SOTU, she would have been crucified by the Obama's camp and the press. Oh well, Hillary is tougher than Obama and she can take it. Go Hillary!!!!!

    January 29, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  21. Bliss

    As an independent voter, I am also sickened by Barack Obama's tactics used in South Carolina.

    I am equally sickened by CNN's role in the South Carolina primary in terms of race vs. gender questions. Issues and the future of this country are what is at stake!

    Therefore, I have decided to vote for Hillary Clinton in the primary.

    January 29, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  22. Dave

    I live in Pennsylvania, which has its primary in April. Because of this my primary vote has essentially never mattered, because by that time the front runner has always been decided. Florida should still feel good about at least having a voice in the Republican primary, as opposed to no voice at all. And Pennsylvania is a so called swing state as well!

    January 29, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  23. Benjamin

    Wow....Would ONE, just ONE Obama supporter give Florida and it's citizens some respect and the rights they deserves as American Citizens?!!

    You want your votes counted when it's Obama who wins, but not when it's someone else...

    What if it was YOU who voted for Obama in your state, and he won, but they said thpppppppttt to you and your vote??

    January 29, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  24. DANNY MATOS

    GO HILLARY GO. YOU NO NEED THE KENNEDY FAMILY TO WIN, YOU REAL SUPPORT IS ALL PEOPLE IN AMERICA, AMERICA IS VOTED FOR YOU.

    AMERICA SAID NO NEED THE ENDORSEMENT TO WIN, HILLARY WIN WITH THE REAL VOTES, AMERICA NEED THE EXPERIENCE HILLARY IS HAVE EXPERCIENCE YOU IS NEXT PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DONT MATTER OTHER PEOPLE SAID. GO HILLARY GO 2008 IS YOU

    January 29, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  25. Gene

    Big yawn to Hillary. All Democratic candidates pledged to not campaign in FL following the ruling of the national party commitee. This was a beauty contest, a name recognition contest and nothing more. If the candidates really campaigned it might have been completely different. Edwards might have won.

    January 29, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18