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. observer

    Wow, only 55% in and 550,000 people beleive in Hillary, now that is news worthy. Looks like Hillary may hit close to amillion people that also know they count! Congratulations, people of Fla., you surely count! That's alot of people Obama "turned his back on"

    January 29, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  2. Kathy

    Thank you Hillary for being true to the voters that supported you Hillary. Even though it may be a hallow victory for the time being.

    The state of Florida has determined the president of the United States in the past.

    The DNC is its own worst enemy, Democrates say every vote counts and you pull delegates from states for wanting have a say in who the Democratic nominee.

    I live in Washington state and many times my vote seems to be worthless in past election.

    I remember I went to vote in Nov. 1983 at approximately 9:00am Pacific time and they annouced Reagan was president.

    I was discouraged and felt my vote doesn't count. I contiue to vote because when you don't participate you can not champion or complain about what is going on politically that effects your life.

    January 29, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  3. Pamela

    By the way...all of you who think Hillary is audacious because there were no delegates...and how dare she???? You should all be attacking the DNC, because yet again...YET AGAIN....Florida doesn't get a real vote. ALLLL of these people actually went out to the voting machines...and just like in 2000, they are the victim of a poor choice from the DNC. Again, this doesn't change that Hillary won by a landslide and the DNC is really something to have pulled the delegates.

    January 29, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  4. FL retired vet

    It's more than a little irritating that the media says because democrats didn't stump in Florida, Floridians voted for the name they recognized. What? We don't have televisions or radios. Apparently we don't read newspapers or magazines either. Most of us are well aware of who they are and where they stand.

    It's also irritating that my vote as a Floridian doesn't count. So much for them saying all Americans will be heard. Well, some of you may laugh at us now because there are no delegates, but wait until the Presidential election. As usual, all eyes will be on Florida.

    January 29, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  5. Jayna

    It's interesting how no one comments on the sexist term being used to describe the democratic primary election as a "Beauty Contest". This strikes me as ironic given that the only women running for president has won the most votes in total of any candidate in either primary election in Florida. It's also interesting how the pundits choose to ignore this fact and appear to be particularly biased against that female candidate. Hmmmmmmm?

    January 29, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  6. SJ

    If Hillary only won by "NAME" recognition, HOW DID OBAMA WIN THE MAJORITY OF THE BLACK VOTE IN FLORIDA?????????
    How would this be possible if NO ONE in Florida knew who he was????

    Does Obama think that if he AND Hillary had been campaigning in Florida that HE would have been able to pull OVER 20% of Florida voters to HIM and away from Hillary????????? What an EGO!

    Or, just another excuse for him.........

    January 29, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  7. Latina for HILLARY

    No matter there are no delegates up for grabs (for now) But I will tell you something:

    This so called 'beauty contest' (as by obama and the media) counts as a TREMENDOUS THUNDER WIN for Hillay, and I will tell you why: Hillary won 2 to 1 over OBAMA as it would show in Michigan!

    Ted Kennedy has nothing on the Latino voters, NOTHING. OBAMA can try and attempt to pull the wool over us Latinos-is not gonna work. Up next under her belt will be:

    In the south it will be: ARKANSAS, GEORGIA, TENNESSEE.

    I also predict, that sometime soon..Al Gore will come out swinging for Hillary, and I will tell you why: For one thing, OBAMA is a man. The way he has been charging and characterizing and attacking Hillary is unjust. He sends a message that it is ok, to treat women this way. Well, I believe, and sense strongly, Al Gore the great, will not only give his endoresment, he will also call OBAMA on this-He will directly say: "this is a part of history, that no man will ever achieve, and that is to grant the honor of highest office in the U.S. to a WOMAN, who not only is prepared, but who will Lead, fight, to get the job done for the American people, for Children, no matter if your Black, latin, white, asian or other, an American is an American with EQUAL rights!' -This I predict, and pretty much guarantee it. Mr. Al Gore, will have a much more presence to the latinos (than so called Ted Kennedy). The Latinos that were disenfranchised in Florida remember him, and voted for him-so to have his backing-speaks VOLUME.

    So tonite, is a VICTORY, no matter what Obama tries to say about it. The voters went to that poll and voted regardless, and they spoke for Hillary! He can downplay it all he wants (Just as the picture that caught his coldness, unfriendliness and HIS awkwardness NOT Hillary's).

    Oh, yea, almost forgot, we will hear from Gov. Richardson's Endorsement of Hillary later in the week 🙂 I'm sure Biden will not trail far behind

    January 29, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  8. Mary, Iowa voter

    I too am very upset at the dirty tricks the RNC played on Florida and Michigan's voters. We've known about this for months. Why sign a pledge you are just going to break, Clintons? I mean, why put your signature to a contract that means nothing? If you objected when it was not convenient to do so, then I could see it...it's too late now to be anything but pandering. But it's clear that what we have here IS a failure to communicate when it's the RIGHT thing to do, and to wait instead until it's PRUDENT. GO CLINTONS!!!

    Obama ran national ads, and the DNC agreed, there is no way to block them from showing in FL and thus nothing wrong with running national ads. Get it?

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

    What's really sad was the empty room in S.C. for all Hillary supporters, that she bailed on, no big speaches there, no big thank you's to all her supporters! She was up, out and on a plane, to the next destination. "Thanks for nothing...I'm moving on to where the next voters are!!"
    But, a couple days ago she tells Florida people she will fight to get the delegates for them and TONIGHT she is there. Funny huh? Why would she makes plans days ago,to fly back to Florida for tonight? Because they had over 200,000 early votes, some from last DECEMBER...before the campaign really got going! Hmm... Now, Hillary wants to fight for the voters of Michigan and Florida. She couldntt give two hoots about the voters, she just wants the delegates. She didn't get them in S.C. and she showed just what her people there meant to her! NOTHING!
    When she lost, she could not delay...could not be bothered...she had to get to the next loving voters.
    My oh my how she loves those Florida voters tonight....huh? Where was the love in S.C.? Where was her "thank you for your support" and her big moving speech for the S.C. people? She dismissed Iowa people when she lost here. She loves YOU...when she can get something from you...after that she will kick you to the curb!!
    Good luck to her supporters in other primary states....if she doesn't win you will see and feel the real hillary, just like Iowa and S.C. did!! She keeps showing her true "character"...time and time again! She only cares about "Hillary".

    January 29, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  10. Ron

    I can't vote until Feb 5. I originally was supporting Edwards but am seriously thinking about voting for Obama. I can't with good conscious vote for Hillary. Bush-Clinton-Bush- Clinton. GOD I hope that doesn't happen. The Clintons will do & say anything to get elected. THey have absolutely no integrity! Unfortunately it appears that Democrats don't care about integrity & honesty. They pit latinos against blacks, old against young, women against men etc. The only cause that the Clintons care about is THEMSELVES!!!! IT is ashame that we will have probably have 8 years of the Clintons & we will all be asking for GOD to bless America or what will be left of it.

    January 29, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. Don, Rochester, NY

    As I observe, the supporters here are typical. Hillary supporters are generally positive...even if something is not going well for the campaign. Barack supporters sound so childish and uninformed...quite petty!

    Hillary WON Florida. Obama supporters keep saying "It doesn't count" "There are no delegates" etc... WAKE UP! You are saying the voices of ALL these voters, American citizens, don't count! I bet Barack would be proud. Shame on you all.

    January 29, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  12. Paul, NJ

    I think is horrible how CNN and the other media are calling this win 'hollow'. Florida voters haven't been isolated from the campaign. Just because the candidates didn't visit the state doesn't mean the voters weren't informed. This is a HUGE win for Hillary.

    I suppose that for super Tuesday states that didn't get visited by Obama, her victories will be called 'hollow' as well.

    I also think it's very ironic that the person who embodies Washington busingess as usual, "40 years in the senate, Ted Kennedy" is endorsing Obama as an agent of change. If Teddy wants change, he should retire and let the next generation come in to effect change.

    January 29, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  13. Gene

    Michigan and Florida that's all you get....reward for disobedience. Thanks Mr Dean...

    January 29, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  14. Troy

    I think a Edwards-Hillary ticket is a no brainer for a win for democrats. If its a Hillary-Edwards ticket you will have alot of dems vote with McCain.

    January 29, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  15. carol

    Don't you love it that the Hillary bashing continues on the other channel! They didn't even bother to show the results but for a few minutes with senical remarks and their usual verbal **** of Obama.

    January 29, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  16. Laney in orlando

    Liberals like Ted Kennedy , John Kerry , Al Gore endorsement of Obama is a victory for Hillary. She doesn't need liberal losers to endorse her. She won in Florida without them. Most of them are just envious of Hillary because they can't get to the White House. Obama's victory in South Carolina was from predominantly Blacks who don't even know who they want in a candidate. Shame on these women who support Obama over Hillary. they are so stupid and confused. I haven't heard one specific thing from Obama, yet this neophyte wants to be President. He can only deliver prepared speeches, can't even answer Katie Couric's qustions like the other candidates.

    January 29, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  17. Robert in Albuquerque

    Few points of interest. ALL three ( HIllary, Obama and Edwards) have been in FL raising money over the past few months. Please don't point a finger at Hillary for doing it when the other 2 have also done it. Secondly, Hillary won with a large number in her favor and no matter what anyone at CNN says, this will give her a boost. She is already leading in almost ALL of the super tuesday state polls. She will lock up NY, CA, NJ, NM & PENN and walk away with the National lead.

    On a side note I've noticed that CNN has become very anti-Hillary in their coverage. So much for the best political team on TV. You should re-name it the best Obama political team on TV. Heck even FOX has more positive runs on the Clintons these days.

    January 29, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  18. Paul

    Has anyone voting for Obama actually checked into his background, I really don't think so. If you had you would see who some of his affiliates are you would change your mind. After having the worst eight years we have had, being lied to and being jerked around by this administration you would think we would have learned our lesson and really checked into the backgrounds of people who are running for the OFFICES

    HILLARY 08

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

    The only Dem candidate who campaigned in FL is actually Obama. Since Jan 21, Obama has been running a TV ad, which has run in FL because the campaign says that it bought time on MSNBC and CNN nationally. Also, all the media attention of the last two days with the Kennedy endorsement, which was picture perfect was seen by the FL voters. And don't forget all the anti-Clinton bias on all the networks.

    So Hillary's win counts for something. There may be as many as a million people voting in Dem primary in FL. And the exit polls are almost identical to the ones in SC, it's just that the demographics are different.

    January 29, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  20. sam yathrob

    The Democratic Party decided months ago not to count the delegates from Florida. Obama, Hillary and all the previous candidates agreed to it.
    It meant that whoever was the primary winner in Florida would accept the fact that he/she will not get any delegates.
    So now everyone needs to stick to the rule, even Hillary now that she won.
    You cannot decide a rule and then change it because it your interest to do so.
    I personnaly think that it is crazy to decide not to count the votes of a state like Florida. So maybe next time if they see it is creating some friction, the democratic Party will find another way to deal with states that don't follow the general terms of the Party.

    January 29, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  21. Randal, Birmingham, AL

    How can you ingnore the democratic votes of more than 1.5 million people in Florida??? This is disenfrenchising your fellow citizens.

    January 29, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  22. Black Republican

    Obama didn't even campaign in Florida, so what's the celebration for? Clinton won because of name recognition. People in Florida are screwed up in the head, and most of them don't know any better.

    January 29, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  23. Truth

    Florida is a HUGE victory for the fine Senator from New York. The Floridia speaks volume as it is very diverse and the population is significant. Hillary Clinton beat her challengers by more than 200,000 ! If this is not huge I don't kno what is. And to think the candidates did not campaign, well only Obama did by running tv ads.

    I am glad the people have spoken and I hope this trend continues come Super Tuesday! I am looking forward to my state (New Jersey) giving the victory to Clinton !

    God Bless Floridia (over 1 million got out of there homes and voted!) and God Bless America!

    January 29, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  24. Kevin

    The Clintons couldn't give a birthday party for a three year old without this ending in bitterness and recriminations. The DNC excluded Florida. Hillary championed their cause. Obama became the bad guy, though he had nothing to do with the decision. Democrats should not throw curve balls like this at other Democrats, but the Clintons don't know how to do politics any other way. What a skeezy bunch.

    January 29, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  25. California Independent

    Clinton did national ads and the campaign guaranteed they did NOT run in Florida.
    Obama did national ads that ran in Florida. Obama had radio ads in Florida.
    They both did fund raising in Florida.

    What I find pathetic, is this country screaming DEMOCRACY when they are going to crap on the votes of hundreds of thousands of people.

    If any other country pulled this BS, America would be crying foul.

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