October 19th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
8 years ago

CNN Poll: Close contest for Florida's 29 electoral votes

(CNN) - Three days before the final presidential debate, a new survey in the biggest of the battleground states indicates the race for the White House is basically tied.

According to a CNN/ORC International poll conducted Wednesday and Thursday, entirely after the second presidential debate, 49% of likely voters in Florida say they support Republican nominee Mitt Romney, with 48% backing President Barack Obama. Romney's one point margin is well within the survey's sampling error.

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Monday, the final president debate, which will focus on international issues, will be held in Boca Raton, Florida.

"Generational and income difference are the two main factors in the Sunshine State, with President Obama holding double-digit leads among younger and less affluent voters and Mitt Romney piling up big margins among older and higher-income voters," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

With female voters and women's issues in the national spotlight this last week, the survey indicates the gender gap in Florida is much smaller than the generational divide or the income gap. The president has a narrow 49%-47% edge among women voters, with Romney holding a 50%-46% edge among men.

"This suggests that in Florida women are voting more on the basis of pocketbook concerns and issues that split young and old throughout the country," adds Holland.

According to the poll, the president and the former Massachusetts governor are tied among two key swing groups: Independent voters and suburban voters.

As always, keep in mind that the poll does not, and cannot, predict the outcome of the election in November. The survey indicates that one in twelve likely Florida voters say they could change their minds between now and Election Day, more than enough to affect a one-point race.

President George W. Bush won Florida in his 2004 re-election, but Obama narrowly captured the state in his 2008 victory over Sen. John McCain. This cycle Florida, where 29 electoral votes are up for grabs, has been getting tons of attention during the general election, with the candidates making frequent visits to the Sunshine State. The poll's release come just a few hours before Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP running mate, team up for a rally in Daytona Beach. And it comes as Vice President Joe Biden makes a two day swing through the state.

The Obama and Romney campaigns are also spending big bucks on get out the vote efforts and to run television commercials in the state. The two presidential campaigns, the party committees, and the super PACs and other independent groups supporting the candidate, have shelled out more than $125 million to run ads on broadcast TV in Florida. That's according to data provided to its clients by Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), which tracks campaign advertising. Twelve million of that spending has come just in the last week.

Three non-partisan, live operator polls of likely voters were conducted in Florida after the first presidential debate and before the second showdown. A CNN Poll of Polls which averaged all three surveys indicated Romney at 49% and Obama at 46%.

With third party candidates factored in, Romney stands at 48% and Obama has 47%. Of the third party candidates, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson has 2%, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode holds 1%, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein received less than one half of one percent in the poll.

The new CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, with 1,030 adults, including 922 registered voters and 681 likely voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for likely voters is plus or minus four percentage points.

Filed under: 2012 • CNN/ORC International poll • Florida • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (359 Responses)
  1. Joy

    A Dream -Yes wouldn't it be nice...if Gov Romney took now Pres Obama in his cabinet if Mr. Romney became President? This would certainly show the world and all these hard nose politicians how America does politics!! I Think Pres Obama would even like that, HE SEEMS TO HAVE A GOOD TIME AROUND Mitt Romney and in all the photos taken they seem to make a good pair together.

    October 19, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. mark

    I don't see romney catching up, he had one good debate, i suspect obama will win the third and final one, and pass romney pretty steadly. Romney is a boob.

    October 19, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. myviewis

    Let's put our country back to work JOBS=Romney

    October 19, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Joy

    but you can leave Joe the laughting hyena behind.

    October 19, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. ImIrish

    THIS is breaking news; yet, the latest Gallup poll that shows Romney is up by 7 isn't?!?!?!?!?!

    October 19, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. mjcharron

    Not too bad for being a republican state.

    October 19, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. Lee-Anne

    Johnnie, you do realize most latinos in Florida that have the legal right to vote are the Cuban type. They tend more to the GOP. Who cares what illegals want. They don't have the right to vote.

    October 19, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  8. ElDestroyer

    There goes Florida messing thing up again, didn't they have enough the first time?

    October 19, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. Boo

    Too close to call..margin of error is 4. Robme zombies don't get all excited.

    October 19, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. jeff

    Romney will win Florida and the rest of the states will follow their lead,

    October 19, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Jan

    Voting for Romney/Ryan means you are either very rich OR very stupid.

    October 19, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. PTNY

    Does each individual headline writer, when their story is clicked, do they get a commission?

    October 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Brian

    Romney is a thug with no ideas. He tells one group he doesn't care about 50% of the country, but then tells that 50% he does care. Either way, he's lying to somebody. The guy is pathological liar. Him and his sons are thugs who believe that they are gifted above everyone else. Obama represents everyone..rich, poor and middle. He got us out of a hole and gets blamed for spending too much, when according to FORBES magazine (a republican magazine), he has increased spending less than any president since Eisenhower. It's the stupid tax cuts that are killing us, and Romney wants to cut taxes more. I just don't understand why anyone in Florida would vote for this guy.

    October 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Mike Diana

    CNN polls are worthless Ask 300 people how they are going to vote and count it for the entire state.

    October 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Flipper

    Rasmussen, a more reliable and accurate poll, has Romney up by 5%. Anything CNN touches is biased in favor of Dems.

    October 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Big D

    Bush's policies sure do beat Oweblamo's policies.

    October 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. lynn

    they have mittheimers

    October 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. Jake

    Obama's vision of America and government's role in the lives of the Amercian People, is not consistent with the vision of our founding fathers. I do not believe that he had the credentials that qualified him to lead our nation and he has proven that with his ineffective leadership. He was never a governer, he was never a CEO. He was a junior senator from Illinois, that never authored a single bill. He was not prepared to take over the mess that is our government. I would not want a receptionist performing brain surgery on me and that is basically what we got with him. Somebody with zero experience making decisions based on gut feeling rather than relying on experience. While he may be very intelligent, he should leave the serious thinking, to somebody better qualified. He is far from being a leader and I will never vote for him.

    October 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. Mike

    I live in Tampa and I only know of handful people who support Mr. binder full of woman. Virtually everyone in my I know including most of the people I work with are voting for the president.

    October 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. PTNY

    I know the sites make a fortune off of advertisers.

    October 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. hedgeman

    Not surprising. Many in Florida are attracted to the Madoff type.

    October 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. JamesAD

    It's surprising all the seniors in Florida would vote for Romney/Ryan when they are openly stating that they are going to end Medicare & Social Security. Sure, it's for those 55 & younger, but it always seemed like the seniors I knew were never that horribly selfish to take for themselves and leave nothing for their children/grandchildren.

    October 19, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. byebyegop

    Florida is funny. Wait for it, nevermind make it whacked.

    October 19, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. soooooo

    so mitt is pilling up votes in regards to older voters and and the rich folks. shocked i tell you, shocked!

    October 19, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    From the land of the hanging chad...

    October 19, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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