December 11th, 2007
04:24 PM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Oprah could have negative effect on Obama

Oprah and Obama campaigned in Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire over the weekend.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Oprah Winfrey's campaign swing last weekend with Democrat Barack Obama was greeted with record-breaking crowds and an equal amount of speculation over how much impact the media mogul might have on the White House race.

After all, Oprah has sent several books to the top of the bestseller list. Why couldn’t that magic touch take a candidate to the top of the polls?

But a new survey out Monday night shows Winfrey's endorsement is unlikely to nudge Obama higher in the polls -– and could potentially hurt the Illinois senator.

According a New York Times/CBS News poll released Monday, only 1 percent of Democrats polled reported that Winfrey's endorsement would make them more likely to support Obama, while 14 percent said they would be less likely to vote for the candidate because of Winfrey's support.

Meanwhile, rival Hillary Clinton's biggest celebrity endorser - her husband Bill Clinton - is likely to have more of an impact. The poll suggests 44 percent of Democrats are more likely to support the New York senator because of her famous husband, while only 7 percent are less likely to do so.

In fact, the former president is such a campaign asset that according to the poll, roughly as many Democrats are supporting the New York senator because of her husband as are supporting her because of her experience. Twenty-six percent of Hillary Clinton's supporters name Bill Clinton as the top reason they are backing her, while 23 percent say her own experience is the biggest factor.

–CNN’s Alexander Mooney and Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. mari Mesa, Arizona

    Who cares if Oprah is Black or Pink, she is a human being and has a right to do whatever she likes to do. She is no dummy, either. While I have already decided to vote for someone else, I think it is demeaning to the PROCESS to assume that her appearance will not be good for Obama. Nothing racist about it. Why oh why do we introduce the race card into anything these days. Have a look at Obama, a bright young man with a wonderful and broad background. If not this time, he will be a good candidate if this is not the election he can win. I am so tired of hearing racist remarks about either Obama of Oprah or anyone. I know this is a tiresome expression but I wonder why we can not just look at people and forget how they appear to us and what that appearance should mean.

    December 12, 2007 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  2. Tim Hodenfield, Santa Rosa, CA

    I think the bump in the polls in the 3 key early states in the next few weeks will disprove the survey. Generally, I would agree with celebrity endorsements not generating much in votes but we're talking about Oprah Winfrey here and she has a proven track record of influencing opinions & attitudes. Also, I wonder how many people who attended the events in Iowa, South Carolina & New Hampshire were included in the survey. methinks, nary a soul.

    December 12, 2007 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  3. Sam, IA

    207 comments so far on this blog. It is called Buzz folks and the democrats have it. The republicans have the same old tired BS about how they have now seen the light and thay are going to be conservative this time. Yeah right. Borrow and spend. At every turn of the road they have outspent thier democratic colleages.

    December 12, 2007 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
  4. MARY HUDSPETH, MANASSAS, VA

    I'm an African American professional and I like candidates in both parties. One thing I will not do is listen to celebrities. The only thing I have in common with Oprah is race and sex. She can't make the case for Obama, as he must have a plan of action/strategy of what he would do, if elected. I will not vote for him simply because he/she looks like me or they're in my party.

    December 12, 2007 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  5. John, Washington DC

    We may see the picture above 1000s of times in the future – Obama will need a Vice President, won't he?

    December 12, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  6. Nita, Killeen, TX

    This story is full of it. When all these celebrities came out in support of Hilary, we didn't hear anything about a negative impact. I long for the days when news is unbiased and there is straight reporting.

    December 12, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  7. Stephanie, Columbus, Ohio

    I must admit I was not comfortable with Oprah's speech at the Obama rallies. She sounded like a southern preacher ( I am originally from Tennessee) and I thought it made it seem that Obama was running to be the President of black America. I know this is not a politcally correct statement, I have been waiting for the race card to be played, I thought it would be from the right, but I felt the issue creep to the surface during their weekend campaining, anyone else notice this? I will support the Dem's nominee, but must admit now I am leaning toward Hillary.

    December 12, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. babyboomer Everytown, USA

    ... Bottom line is that Barack lacks the experience and is naive in some ways. It's all fine to talk about change and changing things, but if "Americans" want to change the way this country is run, they can do that by getting involved themselves in their government and community — not always depending on others to make the difference. In terms of someone ready to run the country, Hillary does have the experience whether people want to admit it or not; she can be tough when she needs to be and has the ability to temper that when she needs to. She is shrewd and smart and understands how to get things done by working "across" party lines....

    Posted By Kathy, Sterling VA : December 11, 2007 3:07 pm

    Kathy very nice comment – well put

    To cast your vote for a dreamer because he is a charismatic visionary does not compensate for the ability to get the job done when it comes to the Oval Office. The REASON why most of the "old guard" supports Hillary is because they understand how Washington politics really work!!! CHANGE CAN ONLY COME THROUGH CONGRESS and the President working together - Everyone is sooo naive if they believe that the GOP will sit up and take orders from a JUNIOR Senator = aint gonna happen folks. Even the Senior Democratic Congressmen would do as they pleased!! On the other hand Hillary will kick their butts "on both sides of the aisles" (and they know it) if they don't shape up and work together.

    Many of the Junior Democratics in Congress (including Senator Obama) have only been in office for less than twelve months since the 2006 elections and understandably they're still getting their feet wet. Maybe Hillary intimidates them BUT being a FORMIDABLE President is what it's all about = You can't MERELY sit down and have a nice cup of tea and pleasant conversation with some of the "Old Bulls" WITHOUT also having a cattle prod handy.

    In plain English folks – Do we really want another Jimmy Carter in the White House in 2008? (A great elder statesman but a pretty ineffective President.)

    Would Mr. Roger's beautiful day in the neighborhood truly cut it??

    AND if each and everyone of you can sit there and honestly say that you have been better off since 2000 rather than during the 90's – then obviously you're a closet Republican!!

    Vote for the Dreamer rather than the Doer if you want another eight long years of the GrandOldParty... NOT

    December 12, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. Susan Morgan

    Anyone who came to a stop in Manchester NH over the weekend came to see Oprah, and was a captive audience for Obama.

    If any of those who attended let a television star with her own problems and issues, who's big on telling us all how to live, but not actually a parent, a married person or in any way facing real life, then we do indeed deserve the government we get.

    Funny how now experience is a bad thing.. at least in Oprah's world.

    I'm hoping for better,
    Sue
    Author, Out of the Ordinary

    December 12, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Ray Zobott, Naples, FL

    Hillary is no Bill Clinton and his support of her would not influence my vote anymore than Oprah's support of Obama would influence my vote. The candidates are the issue and they must convince me that they can lead the country not their endorsers.

    December 12, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Vince King, Phoenix AZ

    The level of shallowness and ignorance on so, so many of the posts here is STAGGERING".

    December 12, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Kristy Sanborhn, Buckhorn, Mo.

    If that percent is even close, and bill clinton is their top reason for supporting hillary, then if she is elected, she didn't make it on her own, did she?
    After all, bill didn't 'inhale', ask monika.

    December 13, 2007 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  13. stewart mpls

    america movies stars can support other canadates but when oprah supports obama its wrong sounds like a race card to me

    December 13, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  14. babyboomer middle class America

    oops Obama was actually elected to the US Congress in Nov 2004 as the Junior Senator from Illinois (not 2006 as I incorrectly posted above – my bad)

    For more info on Obama:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama

    Someone had posted somewhere what Obama's accomplishments were while he was in the IL state senate. Does anyone have a link – because others are posting that Obama had all his IL records destroyed??

    I have also heard that on several controversial measures, especially abortion rights = Obama ABSTAINED from voting by merely saying PRESENT – at least seven times!! I would be VERY interested to see those Official Records on such a critical issue given that the future direction of the United States SUPREME COURT and Roe vs Wade is riding on the outcome of the 2008 elections...

    December 14, 2007 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  15. Monique, Seattle, WA

    Oprah after years of admiring you, and defending you to anyone who tried to attack you, I have to say that I am utterly ashamed of your recent behavior.
    I am absolutely disgusted that you have chosen to throw your considerable weight and power behind a man for the predominant reason that he is black. If you are really so shallow in your convictions, then surely Hilary Clinton as the only female presidential candidate who has ever come close to being nominated deserves your support much more than another male candidate.
    Although black people, along with many other races, lest you forget, have suffered from discrimination throughout the Western world, women are discriminated against THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE WORLD. For all the women who are beaten, abused, assaulted, raped, humiliated, intimidated, stalked, insulted, forced to stay indoors, forbidden from talking to men, murdered, terrorized, kidnapped, trafficked, forced into arranged marriages, seeing a female president of the United States may have given them the hope, the push the conviction, the inner strength to fight the institutionalised abuse they have suffered for centuries. For all the little girls who see their mothers abused, threatened and limited in their potential, seeing a woman become president may have pushed them closer to the equality that ethnic minorities have fought for for years.
    The difference is that whereas there are now laws to protect people of all races in most countries, in hundreds of countries around the world, the laws governing the treatment of women are barbaric.They need your help more than any ethnic minority. I do not know who I will vote for but for someone like you seems to base your support on token issues such as race, I suggest that the issue of gender is a more profound one in this situation.
    On top of this, Hilary Clinton is a law graduate with dozens of years of experience as a politician. She has never admitted to being a cocaine user unlike Mr.Obama. She is a powerful thinker and public speaker with conviction, principles and beliefs who has more that paid her dues and showed her comptencies.
    ccYou call a crowd of black people, "my people." I thought that we were all your people. You have exposed yourself for the sham you are.
    You support a person who refuses to respect the flag of our own country!! Why? Because you share the same colour of skin as him. That is the only reason.Were he white, you would be at home right now.
    You support a man in the name of Martin Luther King.Martin Luther King would have turned in his grave. He believed that people should be judged on the content of their character, NOT THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN. You are an example of the worst kind of racism-a racism that MLK died trying to extinguish.
    In your name racism is alive and kicking.
    I hope you can sleep at night, but I know that deep down there is a voice that tells you that you have breached a moral line in your conduct in these presidential elections.
    Shame on you.

    Oprah, is Martin Luther Ling turning in his grave because of your racism?

    Oprah after years of admiring you, and defending you to anyone who tried to attack you, I have to say that I am utterly ashamed of your recent behavior.

    I am absolutely disgusted that you have chosen to throw your considerable weight and power behind a man for the predominant reason that he is black.
    ccYou call a crowd of black people, "my people." I thought that we were all your people. You have exposed yourself for the sham you are.
    You support a person who refuses to respect the flag of our own country!! Why? Because you share the same colour of skin as him. That is the only reason.Were he white, you would be at home right now.
    You support a man in the name of Martin Luther King.Martin Luther King would have turned in his grave. He believed that people should be judged on the content of their character, NOT THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN. You are an example of the worst kind of racism-a racism that MLK died trying to extinguish.
    In your name racism is alive and kicking.

    December 17, 2007 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
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