January 26th, 2008
07:57 PM ET
2 years ago

Exit polls: Bill Clinton's effect

 Bill Clinton has campaigned heavily for his wife.
Bill Clinton has campaigned heavily for his wife.

(CNN) - Bill Clinton's aggressive campaigning in South Carolina in the days leading up to the state's primary may have had a net negative effect among South Carolina’s Democratic primary voters, CNN exit polls indicate.

Roughly 6 in 10 South Carolina Democratic primary voters said Bill Clinton's campaigning was important in how they ultimately decided to vote, and of those voters, 48 percent went for Barack Obama while only 37 percent went for Hillary Clinton. Fourteen percent of those voters voted for John Edwards

Meanwhile, the exit polls also indicate Obama easily beat Clinton among those voters who decided in the last three days - when news reports heavily covered the former president's heightened criticisms of Obama. Twenty percent of South Carolina Democrats made their decision in the last three days and 51 percent of them chose Obama, while only 21 percent picked Clinton.

Bill Clinton's presence on the trail was "very important" to roughly a quarter of those surveyed. Among those voters, Hillary Clinton edged out Barack Obama, 46 to 42 percent.

On Monday, Obama said he felt as if he is running against both Clintons, a charge the New York senator’s campaign said was borne out of frustration. The former president himself later dismissed Obama's comments, saying “I thought he was running against me.”

Campaigning in South Carolina Friday, Obama noted that the Clinton campaign had stepped up its attacks since his Iowa win, and joked that it's good practice for him, so "when I take on those Republicans, I'll be accustomed to it."

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Exit Polls
soundoff (529 Responses)
  1. Gloria, Napa, California

    It was more enjoyable and competitive when the candidates stuck to the issues facing the country. It was exciting to see the Democrats have such good, strong candidates running for president.

    What happened?

    January 26, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  2. Boris

    Forget SC, Obama and the Republicans all together. Hillary is still more experienced, more even-keeled than any of the candidates. She will the best choice for the country as a whole. Think globally.

    January 26, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  3. Milt

    Do we have to remind ourselves what the Clintons left us with when they were in the White House? How many of their friends were suddenly removed from this earth when they got in the way. Please read "The Clinton Chronicles" to prove our point. Bill Clinton ignored repeated opportunities to capture Osama bin Laden and his terrorist allies and is responsible for the spread of terrorism. God forbid if the they were again to invade the White House. Queen Hillary would let the country be taken over by Terrorists in a whim. In the beginning she supported our troops, then turned on them and is now tromping on the graves of our fallen men and women and will not support our fighting men and women in our war against Terror just to support her election. Terrorists would just love to have her in the White House. All of our efforts by our troops would be wasted and most of the Democrats and some Republicans would not care one bit. Since our troops have been so successful in cleaning up Iraq at the dismay of most Democrats and a few Republicans in the House and Senate I believe Republicans have a good chance of winning both the House, Senate and the White House. King George is not done cleaning up what the Clintons left us when they were in power. By November Republicans will look pretty good. Remember it took 8 years for Bill & Hillary to mess up America and may take twice that long to clean it up.

    January 26, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  4. Shane

    The soon-to-be First Husband needs to learn that his place in the kitchen.

    January 26, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. Sue

    I am so tired of Kennedys, Bushs and Clintons. Its time for new faces in both parties.

    January 26, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  6. Randy

    Tiz a shame, that a woman of such strength now appears she can't stand on her own. Nothing like having her husband do the dirty work for her. Time for the Clinton's to go away. Their 15 years is up.

    January 26, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  7. Peace

    A big lesson has been learnt. Bill is no longer the Fire Extinguisher. He did it in his own problems but to his wife I think he should leave her to fight on her own.

    January 26, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  8. Chris Texas

    South Carolina was a very segregated battleground.

    Race played a huge factor.

    Gender played less of a factor but was still there.

    Florida, a place that has had no campaigning, no Bill Clinton, no Michelle Obama has already had hundreds of thousands of votes turned in.

    Majority winner Hillary Clinton by a large margin.

    Obama's campaign says "Obama did not campaign". Neither did Hillary there buddy.

    Obama's Campaign (not Obama himself) stated that Florida did not matter due to the punishment. Wow. I like Obama, but his campaign is saying some pretty hateful things about the Florida population. Even if they lost their delegates, they didn't lose their votes.

    SC does not have an impact on the overall Democratic nomination. Hillary is still the frontrunner, and after Super Tuesday, she will be the "clear" frontrunner. I hope then Democrats can put aside their petty grudges and support our party.

    January 26, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  9. Toby

    Exit polls show Obama beating Hillary Clinton overall 54-27, but among voters who thought Bill Clinton's campaigning was important, 48-37. That means those who thought Bill Clinton's campaigning was important were MORE likely to vote for his wife than the average voter. So Bill Clinton was a net positive for his wife. This article is just plain wrong.

    January 26, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  10. Jake

    Smart people in South Carolina. Let's hope the rest of the country is as smart.

    Good call, South Carolina!!!

    January 26, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. archie

    Obama has just won South Carolina, and took 50% of the young white voters age

    18-25, and 27% of the white vote from 25-49 voters with him. This just goes to

    show you, that America, and it's youth, want change – real change – by voting

    for Barack Obama!

    Go Obama !! America loves you!

    Obama / Edwards '08

    January 26, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  12. Keith Reese

    Would Bill Clinton be getting negative press if he were attacking a Republican? Well, it is about time some attention is bought to his lying. In the old days, he would just not be telling the truth, not lying!

    January 26, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. jken

    Bill is making things worse for Hillary. He needs to stay home.

    January 26, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  14. Aron from SC

    Proverbs 22:8
    He who sows wickedness reaps trouble,
    and the rod of his fury will be destroyed.

    January 26, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  15. Yolanda Diaz

    He has all the right to back up his wife – good for him

    January 26, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    So who will give the concession speech Bill or Hill?

    January 26, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. shamous mc

    So who will give the concession speech, Bill or Hill?

    January 26, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  18. v.ananthan

    Bill Clinton should learn tactics from OBAMA ....
    Obama played the "victim role " again by saying that he is against 2 clintons (husband and wife) . But actually he was getting a lot of support and endorsements from varoius prominant people who were attacking the Clintons......

    January 26, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  19. Aron from SC

    Proverbs 22:8
    He who sows wickedness reaps trouble,
    and the rod of his fury will be destroyed.

    January 26, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  20. Yolanda Diaz

    We had the best years in USA during Bill Clinton's years

    January 26, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  21. Jack

    Clinton dismissed the results by comparing Obama to Jesse Jackson. I guess if you're a Clinton, it's okay to be a racist? Just lump all of those black folks in the same camp?
    Obama can NOT defend himself, without being seen as a black man playing the race card, costing himself votes.
    Someone needs to bury Clinton over that remark – no weak apologies accepted.

    January 26, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  22. Rachel

    Wow Jim... really? Considering what people said as they left the voting booth adds up to the results.

    Anyway, as for the results – no surprise. Clinton has only hurt Hillary with his negative, whining attitude – and only serves to make her a more divisive candidate.

    She will not win a general election – and the Dems. are starting to wake up to that.

    January 26, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  23. Ed

    Bill Clinton was disgraced and finally impeached for lying under oath. Why should anyone believe anything he says now? He hasn't changed one bit.

    January 26, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. Phyllis

    I agree – it is definitely time for Billary Clintons to go away
    I voted for them both twice -
    now go away!!!

    January 26, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  25. AUC

    J Pomeroy – I'm a Democrat and I agree with you. The Clinton's dirty politics and their games blew up in their face. Their " win at all cost" tactics didn't play well to the American people. Quite frankly, CNN I'm sick of seeing Bill Clinton or hearing him on television -news flash he can't be President again- he's not running and it is unfair for you to continue to show his speeches unless you show Michelle Obama or Elizabeth Edwards; he needs to set his tired tail down. We see them for who they really are!!!!! It's a new day and as the good book is right -Clinton's – you will reap what you sow!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama 08!!

    January 26, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
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