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. Matt #2

    Matt (9:01 posting).

    I agree with everything you wrote.

    Obama's people are calling FL a "beauty contest"...that it "means nothing," etc. This from the "uniter"?

    Most polls have about 1,000 participants. FL had over a MILLION participants, and its results are a striking reminder that despite the lopsided media coverage, Clinton is still doing quite well with the voters.

    January 29, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  2. SJ

    I'm sorry CNN, but your "expert" panel of old men (yes, even Gloria or whatever her name is) SUCK.......Do you really think that NO ONE in Florida has been watching the DEBATES AND NEWS COVERAGE OVER THE LAST MONTHS?????????? They don't need to go to a rally to see what the candidates stand for!

    Young kids love Obama........Older people and those who have lived a little longer than college age LOVE HILLARY!!!!!!

    Get a grip on your "best political team"
    SOOOOOO BIASED!!!!

    January 29, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  3. Pamela

    That there are no delegates is not the fault of Hillary. As well, she is at a 21% lead over Barak, just as he had his enormous lead in SC. The fact is, these Americans DID vote today and votes count at the very least, symbolically..it still shows a landslide victory, so YES, she should give a speech. As should have Barak if he had won. It is GRACIOUS to thank those that have supported you and YES, she DID win the state, even with no delegates. And there is a very good chance those delegates may still be seated, by the time the convention comes up.

    By the way...I hear media pundits mentioning that Barak didn't get a chance to campaign in Forida, or his numbers would have been better. Well, let's be fair....neither Clinton NOR Edwards were able to campaign either...and that she held a closed fundraiser the very night before the election...this had absolutely no effect on today's election.

    So those of you who hate Clinton...why don't you just start out with that line and save the rest of your responses...because it is so sorely obvious that you all think her mere breathing is a negative...and that Barak is all the glory. I like Barak....but thus far, the only thing I hear from him at all is that we are one people and the dream is still alive. I would LIKE to hear him talk about his policies, which I have yet to hear over and above talk of hope and the dream.

    January 29, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  4. Dana

    Dear Demo08, nobody's saying the people of Florida are irrelevant. We're saying your candidate and Obama and Edwards all had an agreement with the Democratic Party about not seating delegates from the Florida primary, and Hillary is the only one who has now chosen to go back on her word (flip-flopped?). She's unprincipled as a result, and her "celebration" party tonight would be laughable if her latest scandals with Bill and South Carolina weren't so shameful and sad. Democrats like me are now just beginning to understand the hatred many Republicans have for her and her husband. And that's the saddest truth of all.

    January 29, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  5. Sandra Buttrey

    Why is CNN acting like the Dem voters in FL do not have a voice? Its likely that you fear Hillary will become the Dem nomination and since you guys are backing Obama you have alot to lose. You will not give Hillary a break and at every turn you try to bring her down. And whats up with one of your "News Casters" stating that FL voters were not informed about Obama so thats why Hillary won, do you really think people in FL have not watched their TV's in the last 3 weeks? Please stop acting like Fox and get back to being CNN.

    January 29, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  6. AAAAA

    The older, mature people of Florida are NOT drinking the Obama Kool Aid........they understand that if you get sick, you go to the doctor NOT the snake oil salesman who will tell you that they have a cure with their snake oil.

    January 29, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  7. Dave

    I am completely amazed that I am hearing that Hillary is faulted for claiming a victory in Florida, or that the votes there don't count. As of right now, approximately 1 million American citizens living in Florida have cast their ballots, and more than 50% of those have been cast for Hillary. If this fact cannot be deemed a victory, then send me the latest revision of Webster's, because some new definition must be in the works.

    January 29, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  8. Fred

    WOW! How is the only one campaigning in this state only taking half the vote? Is it because the other half respect those who followed the rules? This is a trumped up non-win and Hillary should be ashamed at herself for breaking rules and then trying to spin it like she won in a landslide. I was undecided until recently, Hillary is not going to get my vote now.

    January 29, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  9. Johnny Peace

    Hillary was not forced to sign on the dotted lines months ago that she will not campaign in FL; she was there and nodded along as the DNC decreed into their laws that MI & FL will not be seated at the convention.

    She agreed then, signed the dotted line, but she have changed her mind and want the delegates to be sitted.

    Well too bad, they will not be sitted, everything that happen in the Dem side tonight in FL is just a beauty contest and the Queen of the contest was in attendance; presidents do not attendance beauty contest.

    The only way the delegates in FL will sit if a winner emerges before the convention, that nominee either Hillary or Obama or Edward will request that the delegates sit, but then they will not be use to determine the actual nominee.

    January 29, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  10. oh please

    Hillary thinks the rest of the country is stoopid, and that they won't see through her transparent tricks.

    If Obama was expected to win FL, do you for a second think Hillary would be "fighting for the rights of Florida delegates to be seated" at the convention? LMAO

    Just like Nevada. She was just fine with the caucus rules until the Culinary Workers endorsed Obama; then, her surrogates tried to change the rules that had been agreed to by everyone 10 months prior.

    Hillary will say anything and do anything to win. She's not out there for "us". She's "in it to win it" for herself.

    She epitomizes the status quo and will, like her hubbie, be a polarizing barrier to getting anything good done.

    January 29, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  11. Dave

    Also, in support of Obama, the ads of his that were run in Florida were national ads, not aimed at Florida. I feel this is not publicized enough. There would be no way for Obama to pull this ad from only Florida, as it is broadcast on nation wide networks.

    January 29, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  12. caesar

    Is she triumphing for dancing on the face of the DNC's decision, or not getting the delegates, or what?... I don't get it.
    What there is to be happy about.
    The voting is clearly biased, and she's happy about that? What gives?

    January 29, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  13. kori

    BOOO HOOO BOOO HOOO... It looks like the Floridians were just extending some Floridian hospitality to OBAMA.

    January 29, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  14. Concerned Voter

    Why is it that the 4th place Republican received more tv air time than the winner of the Democratic primary tonight? I don't care if no delegates are awarded from Florida or not. The fact of the matter is that Hillary Clinton will have received over 1 million votes by the end of the night. That is incredible considering that no one campaigned there. Shame on CNN for being so one sided. If Obama were winning 51 to 31 CNN would be hailing it as the another example of Obama's unstopable momentum. Since it is not your media darling who is winning you are censoring the winner. Shame, shame, shame.

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

    Oh there was PLENTY at stake, Obama was trounced in FL. No one campained in FL including Hillary, she only arrived to acknowledge her victory. This is the beginning of what he will have to look forward on super Tuesday.

    Go Hillary!

    January 29, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  16. kirt

    Americans, why voting for Obama who had least experience and nothing to prove of his achievement while Clinton had much experiences and is talking facts about what she had done being a former first lady and as Sen of New York. Obama is hiding so many things and just good with talks.

    January 29, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  17. Julie, Binghamton, NY

    Obama and Edwards supporters can disregard Hillary's support for Florida having delegates as self interest, but if she wins the nomination, this will definitely help the Democrats win the Presidential election in Novemeber. These "disenfranchised" Democrats will all remember how she supported them when no one else did and they will come out and vote for her. Remember how close Florida was in the last two elections? Well this could help turn things around.... what Obama and Edwards fans see as an annoyance can become a blessing in November.

    January 29, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  18. Paula

    Obama came to Sarastoa Nov 6, 2007 for a fundraiser. It was a private fundraiser, he did not address the press as they are not allowed to campaign in Florida, but they were allowed to have have fundraisers. Also there may not be any delegates for Florida but we will vote in November and they will count, so the state of florida right now will vote for Hillary

    January 29, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  19. Boomer

    Obama did campaign in Florida. CNN needs to get their facts straight. Talk to the people there. Obama was running TV commercials all week, and that was against the agreed the rules.

    January 29, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  20. Scott

    Hillary is an opportunist, and a smooth operator. She always has been. I'm surprised that so many people seemed surprised that she will say anything, and do anything to put herself over. This has been her MO ever since the early 90's. The fact that she does things contrary to what all the other Democratic candidates do, just goes to show she has never been a "team" player and is always out for her own ends. I consider myself a moderate, mostly voting in the past for Republicans. However, I voted for Obama for Illinois Senate and I am completely prepared to vote for him in the presidential elections and I know many other Republicans willing to do the same. I can tell you this, if she gets the Democratic Nom, I will be voting for McCain or staying away from the polls. In fact I believe she will polarize many independents and moderates back to the Republicans. I hope the Democratic establishment is taking that into account. Speaking as a moderate I know Obama can reach across the aisles to Republicans. Full speed ahead Senator Obama!

    January 29, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  21. tomdavie

    Dem08, we don't owe Hillary anything. Way to play with Floridian's feeling. The other candidates would have come if DNC had not banned the Florida vote. You are too much of a rouge candidate to trust. NOT MY VOTE HILL.

    January 29, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  22. Texan

    NOT TRUE CNN AND YOU KNOW IT. OBAMA RAN TV ADS IN FLORIDA ON YOUR NETWORK.! SHAME ON YOU CNN.
    Is this why you network is pimping him so much?

    January 29, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  23. jess

    Joe,

    quit spamming the boards. Your a child.

    January 29, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  24. Hope

    Bill January 29, 2008 8:44 pm ET

    Its not right of Clinton to come to florida

    I guess then that it's right for Obama to run TV ads in Florida. Get real.

    January 29, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  25. Marie

    Don't think for a minute that Hillary's win in Florida doesn't count. The people of Florida have spoken as to whom they want for their next president.

    Great job Hillary!

    January 29, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
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