January 26th, 2008
07:57 PM ET
3 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. JCF

    Once again im proud to be an American go Obama

    January 26, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  2. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    Hillary keeps saying she will be ready on Day 1, but ready for what?

    Obama has superior judgement over Clinton, and will make the right decisions on Day 1.

    January 26, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  3. Brian

    haha Bill says its false hope. Bury the negativity along with the Hillary campaign. YES WE CAN!

    January 26, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  4. Elvis Dupree

    More and more people are being reminded that the clinton presidency was one of the worst in the history of the Republic. The healthcare fiasco, illegal wars in Bosnia, Serbia and Haiti, firing all 93 of the US Attorneys, and neglecting to safeguard the country from 9/11 by trivialising the threat from al-Qaeda. Oh yes, and of course lying under oath, not to mention paralysing the government. A Federal jail cell is the only place for him.

    January 26, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  5. Lynn in Iowa

    Congratulations to the Obama campaign for the win in SC!! I too am another former Clinton supporter. Now I just turn the channel when either of them come on. I sent comments to Hillary's website letting them know what I thought of their behavior in the last couple of weeks. I used to think that if she won, I'd have to vote for her, but like others, I'd vote for McCain before I'd vote for her. And I won't stay home and just not vote, I want my voice heard too! She and Bill have shown that they still play the political games of yesterday. That is exactly not what we want in our next president! Go Barack! Yes We Can!

    January 26, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  6. John

    Yes, Obama beat Hillary soundly despite the negative tactics by the Clintons. But has anyone noticed how the mainstream press gives much more time and space to Hillary over Obama?

    January 26, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  7. JJ

    I used to like the Clintons, but I just don't like what I see anymore. Neither of them has any integrity. She's shrill, he's a bully, and they both want the White House again so badly that they will try to run over anyone who gets in their way

    Obama may have less experience, but give me a lack of experience over a lack of integrity anytime.

    January 26, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  8. Independent

    If Obama wins the nomination, the Democrats will lose the White House. If Clinton doesn't win, I would rather vote for McCain as Obama has such a lack of experience and has nothing to offer but lofty ideas with no actual plan to accomplish anything. I expect there is a large part of the population, like myself, who would shift from Clinton to McCain.
    Better a president who could actually do something.

    January 26, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  9. Jim

    What an impact Bill has on the American people. NOT!!!!!!!!! Just look at the results in South Carolina tonight.. Hillary was doing much better before you opened your big mouth. The only time you sounded good is when that saxaphone was in your face!

    January 26, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  10. Gil

    Give me a Clinton or give me death!
    Hopefully it won't be a slow death.

    January 26, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  11. hillabeans

    Go Obama.Go Edwards

    January 26, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  12. rusty

    Change is not only possible, it is very much needed. Bill, and Hillary represent the past, are divisive, and basically need to go away. The 90's were not all that great, in fact, they were mediocre at best. Partisan politics don't work, witness today's congress. The only candidate who seems to embrace the concept of bipartisanship in this race is Obama. Thanks South Carolina!! Please America, listen to the message that South Carolina just sent you.

    January 26, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  13. MARIA 2325

    Talking in the name of the hispanics, we support Hillary because during The Clinton government , the economy was prosperous , i do not believe somebody who does not enough experience can turn the economy in the right direction GO HILLARY!

    January 26, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  14. joan

    I think it hurt but don't be fooled, Senator Obama plays politics too! He too abused the truth when he went on the attack during the debate.

    I am not happy with either of them right now!

    January 26, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  15. Kim, Dallas, TX

    Bill Clinton has made the Democratic party look like a rather nasty, childish party. The Republicans looked civil and mature in their debate this week. I despise what Bill and Hillary have done to Obama since his win in Iowa. I knew they would come out swinging, but I thought they would at least be honest. But then again, I do remember the famous "I did not sleep with that woman" statement. Some people just don't have it in them to be honest. I never agreed with our country impeaching Bill Clinton for something in his personal life, but now I see the depth of deception he is willing to do. He has disheartened Democrats and will ruin our chance of taking the White House. Do we really want John McCain leading our country? We will be at war in the middle east forever, moving that war into Iran as well. I personally would prefer us bringing our support, military and finances back home where it is needed. A vote for Hillary will ensure a Republican in office next year.

    January 26, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  16. Sal

    Media bias at its finest.

    January 26, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  17. Dx

    The county is unified, we are all Americans. The Problem, only a selected few reach this point in one's life. If you listen to Bill, he isn't talking to the local press, he's talking to the United States.

    Love Him or Hate Him, his message is being delivered across the Nation. He was only the President for 8 Years. Take a step back, listen and look at what and how it's being said. The real politics is being sold, while everyone is fixed on the local response.

    If the others spouses had that pull, they would be doing the same.

    Keeping it Real.

    January 26, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  18. BK, Williamsburg, VA

    Clearly a rebuke of the Clintons. Hey, Bubba, how's finding out people don't love you as much as you think?

    January 26, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  19. Richard

    The other day: something very interesting. A friend and confirmed Bush supporter 4 yrs ago and an Evangelical Christian, told me the country would be very mistaken NOT to elect Mr. Obama, the candidate whose inspiring oratory is BEST able to unite all our peoples in moving forward as one nation!

    January 26, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  20. Antonio Cabral

    The political coverage on CNN is decidely one sided and immature. Reporter after reporter allow their personal animus about Hilary to influence their comments. Obama was as much responsible for playing the race card, yet to hear the CNN anchors across the racial divide fall over each other Hilary and Bill were the ones responsible for playing the race card.

    They got it wrong in New Hamshire and were humiliated. Wolf, 360 Cooper etal were the ones painting the scenario of ethnic support for Obama in SC long before Hillary or her team made any allusions to it.

    Hilary made a comment about the administrative musle of LJ and CNN deliberately misconstrued this to mean an attack on Martin Luther King and a snide against Obama.

    The arrogance of the press is nothing but repugnant. We will deny you the ego-satisfaction of playing King Maker.

    All the candidates should be accorded equal scrutiny and dealt with fairly. As all fith columist, you need to be reminded you are not the news, you need to report on the news and allow we the voters the opportunity to cast our vote.

    I would advice all political junkies to watch PBS or ABC where they can get a more honest and objective reporting of the facts.

    January 26, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  21. Vivien CA

    Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah! Obama whined constantly about how unfair it was for Bill to campaign for his wife. At the same time, Michelle was in South Carolina for weeks, blatantly playing the race card and no one called her on it. What a double standard!

    January 26, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  22. v.ananthan

    BILL CLINTON should be very carefull in the future because OBAMA is very clever in twisting FACTS..

    January 26, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  23. Debra

    The first time I heard Barack Obama speak I was blown away. He mentioned specifics of what he would change when taking office, and those things resonated with me. Yes, I'll dare to use the H word, he inspired hope, especially tonight with his speech after the South Carolina win, his words truly uplifted my spirits!

    I'll admit, the first thing I thought of after deciding he had my vote, was "would our racist country ever be able to elect a black man president?" That's a huge issue, and he addressed the issue of race right up front in his speech tonight.

    Seeing that Whites, Blacks, Asians and Latinos are supporting him makes me think it might be possible. Obama is truly the agent of change we need now!!

    YES WE CAN America!

    January 26, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  24. Brent

    Let's see how the partisan scumbags who support Bill and Hillary because they have the abillity to hate the best spin this victory.

    January 26, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  25. merlene

    Obama won big in South Carolina. Obama has the message of change and that is what the americans want. He will be a good choice for president. He has my vote in the upcoming primary and in November.

    January 26, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
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