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If Florida Voted Again, Clinton’s Victory Margin Would Be Smaller

Hillary Clinton would be the frontrunner if Florida were to hold a new primary but not by as large a margin over Barack Obama as she scored in the Jan. 29 vote, according to a poll conducted March 15-17 for the St. Petersburg Times, the Miami Herald and Bay News 9 TV. The poll said Clinton’s margin over Obama would be 46 percent to 37 percent with 16 percent undecided and a 4 point margin of error. Clinton beat Obama 50 percent to 33 percent, with John Edwards getting 14 percent, in the January election that was voided by the national party because Florida violated rules against moving up the primary date.

However, prospects of a re-vote were quashed yesterday when state Democratic chair Karen Thurman threw in the towel, saying: “The consensus is clear: Florida doesn’t want to vote again. So we won’t.”

Forty-four percent of voters said they wanted the Jan. 29 vote to count, with 56 percent of Clinton supporters holding that view compared to 27 percent of Obama supporters. If the vote were to be counted, Clinton would net 38 delegates, allowing her to narrow but not close the 100-plus delegate gap with Obama, the Miami Herald said.

Asked “how much of an effect…the major candidates pledging not to campaign in Florida had on your ability to make a properly informed choice,” 56 percent answered it had no effect, 24 percent said it had an effect and 16 percent said it had “a major effect.” While three-quarters of Florida Democrats said it was important to them that the state’s delegates count towards picking the nominee, only a minority of voters said they would be less likely to support the Democratic candidate in the Fall if the delegates were not counted.

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