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. Robert

    WAY TO GO BILL AND HILLARY.....YOU GOT LOTS OF SUPPORT HERE IN TEXAS....PUT ALL THE PRESSURE ON OBAMA.....

    January 27, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Mike

    Go Bill!!!! Go Hillary!!! All the Way!!!!

    January 27, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. kevin from alaska

    Impeach him! Oh wait....

    January 27, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. Angelina

    please stop doing any articles on this old guy. He needs to go do some volunteer work somewhere and let the country run and the candidates who are the candidates do their campaign. He has done more damage than anyone could do to the Democrats.

    January 27, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Mark C. Eades

    Hillary Clinton deserved the beating she received in South Carolina. Her and her husband’s behavior in recent weeks has been a disgrace, and as a former Clinton voter I have lost any respect I ever had for the former first couple. I have no doubt, however, that we can fully expect to see more dirty politics from the Clintons as we head into Super Tuesday.

    January 27, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Clinton Fatigue already

    Reading some of you Clintonista's blaming the "media" for reporting the actual numbers as some kind of bias or that Obama brought up the race issue before the Clintons did (AND THEIR BAND OF SURROGATES) further proves the FACTUAL numbers that more educated people in droves are voting for Obama and the "less" educated and frankly easily duped ones are voting for Hillarity.

    If the media and CNN in general are so "biased" againts the Clintons where were the stories nationwide on CBS, NBS, ABC, CNN and PBS showing Clinton sleeping during the sermon at a black church or his words AFTER Obama hammered he and his wife in SC stating the obvious and continual call to white people "Well Jesse Jackson won in SC also".

    Code words and coded messages that anyone with a brain can figure out, but Clintonista's don't have that "capacity".

    Penn, Cuomo, Shaeen, Johnson, Bob Kerrey and Bill Clinton etc, etc invoked hatred into this ONLY because he got WHITES in Iowa to start voting for him and "she" can only win by dividing and conquering.

    As a Conservative I should be happy, but I am an American first and I respect Obama greatly and find the Clinton 1990's tactics deplorable.

    ABC.

    January 27, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. Clinton Fatigue already

    Reading some of you Clintonista's blaming the "media" for reporting the actual numbers as some kind of bias or that Obama brought up the race issue before the Clintons did (AND THEIR BAND OF SURROGATES) further proves the FACTUAL numbers that more educated people in droves are voting for Obama and the "less" educated and frankly easily duped ones are voting for Hillarity.

    If the media and CNN in general are so "biased" againts the Clintons where were the stories nationwide on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and PBS showing Clinton sleeping during the sermon at a black church or his words AFTER Obama hammered he and his wife in SC stating the obvious and continual call to white people "Well Jesse Jackson won in SC also".

    Code words and coded messages that anyone with a brain can figure out, but Clintonista's don't have that "capacity".

    Penn, Cuomo, Shaheen, Johnson, Bob Kerrey and Bill Clinton etc, etc invoked hatred into this ONLY because he got WHITES in Iowa to start voting for him and "she" can only win by dividing and conquering.

    As a Conservative I should be happy, but I am an American first and I respect Obama greatly and find the Clinton 1990's tactics deplorable.

    ABC.

    January 27, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Tom, Boston, MA

    Spin Spin and some more spin.
    Where's the beef?
    You can't handle the truth.

    January 27, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. Urban Mari

    File this away, by the time the final ballots are printed, and you do not have faith in any of the candidates, you should still vote–please! Go to the polling place, request a write-in ballot, and then write 'No Confidence'–that should be the single protest vote (not Mickey Mouse anymore!). The subsequent press about the high voter turnout, and then the stats about how many voted 'no confidence' will send a serious message (to the world, to the status quo members of government, to the corporations, and to us).

    We WIll Not Have Our Hands Tied Anymore.

    Meantime, I hope it does not get to that in this election.
    To decide: from Latin decidere, literally to cut off.
    OR
    To choose: to select freely and after consideration.

    I choose Obama.

    January 27, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. xavier

    First of all, Vivien CA, Obama never whined about Bill Clinton campaigning. He said that was fine. He took exception to the Former President distorting his record. So there is no double standard. Second of all, the idea that Michelle Obama’s words have the same impact and magnitude of a former president is laughable at best. It is not a level playing field.

    But the message is getting through. The Clinton’s now represent the divisive politics that Obama talks about. Anybody that is paying attention has seen that. It is just a question of whether they believe what they’ve seen, or if they will continue to be blinded by the Clinton political lying machine.

    Obama 08

    January 27, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. mario

    maybe we should metabolize the idea that Hillary is never going to govern like Bill. They are just 2 different persons. She won't even listen to him once! Therefore, anything he says to help his wife is just . promises, promises.
    If you liked Bill this doesn't automatically mean that you are going to like Hillary.
    It's going to be a different ball game this time!

    January 27, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. observer

    CNN is terrible in reporting real news. They and the rest of the world have been attacking Hillary for 35 years. She sells news. Without her as a candidate Obama could not sell news, Hillary is their cash cow and they do everything to exploit her. Anything negative about Obama is barely reported and then it's back to pilling on the Clintons. Bill Clinton is supporting his wife, there is nothing wrong with that, there has never been an ex-President whose wife ran for office to compare it to. Obama's wife speaks at rallys also and she is not always politically correct. CNN quit showing such a one sided opinion, report all the news. Obama has played the race card for most of his campaign yet CNN turns it on the Clintons, only to be expected from the one sided "biased" channel.

    January 27, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Bill in Montgomery, AL

    Do you know how to tell if Billary is lying? His lips are moving!!!!!

    January 27, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Ken Lampkin

    The Last Word On Race.

    The Black Democrat Presidental primary voters of South Carolina have answered the Pivotal question of the 08' Democrat Debate season. " Do you think Bill Clinton was the first "Black President of The United States?" By a 80% majority they have concluded that the 42nd President was in fact ....."Not A Brother"

    "SORRY BILL"

    January 27, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. whiteflag

    Go for it Obama ,us Brits are fed up with power families like the Bush and Clintons who do not have the interests of the American people at heart . Vote for change and hope for a better life in housing,medical care, education, social services and cost of living. I just love that " Yes we can ! "

    January 27, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. Jr., California

    I heard that Bush and Cheney are endorsing Obama.

    January 27, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Duncan, Richmond, VA

    Wonderful.. people voting based on some 3rd person and not based on the 2 candidates issues.

    January 27, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Theresa

    Congratulations, Senator Obama on your win! Yes, we can change America! You rose in spite of all of the nasty tricks pulled on you in South Carolina. You are an American that we can be proud of and who can change the course of history for the good.

    Run, Obama,. Run!

    January 27, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. Jose Card - Independent

    Bill Clinton is no longer the first black president.
    He has never represented blacks.
    He represents the Clintons and the rich Dems of big corporations.
    S.C. spoke with their votes loud and clear.
    Thanks!

    January 27, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. dismayed in MI

    I expected better of Hillary. She is an acheiver and does not need to undignify herself with Bush/Rove tactics...Hillary you found your voice in NH.. Don't let it be drowned....Tell Bill to back off and Let YOU WIN ON YOUR OWN MERITS.

    January 27, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. California voter

    Not sure what effect Bill Clinton had on the voters as it appears from the exit polls that about 80 percent of the black voters voted for Obama. I have no problem with Bill Clinton stumping for his wife and whether his statements are less truthful than others, I would leave that up to the voters. However, I will continue to believe, ever, that CNN reporting if not biased, is certainly not balanced. When Bill Clinton replied to a female CNN reporter, the headline was Bill Clinton "lashes" out. Is that a loaded word or what? It sounded just like a normal response to me. Where was all the outcry about the personal attack Michele Obama made on Hillary Clinton when she said, " if you can't manage your own house, how can you manage the White House". She said that she was not referring to Hillary Clinton. Well, who's telling the fairy tale now. Both sides have their fair share of story telling and half truths and I believe the press should follow up with all candidates on a more even basis.

    (This comment has been awaiting moderation since 8:20 pm, January 26, what's up?
    Is CNN doing selective screening?)

    January 27, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. scvoter

    The Clintons need a black advisor to tell them how to reach the black community. Negative attacks on the first black viable candidate in this nation will backfire and they'll lose more and votes, the longer they criticize Obama. They need to be positive.

    Hillary needs to show a vision and what distinguishes her from Obama. She needs to talk about what she's done personally – Children's Defense Fund, etc. Everyone knows what Obama has done – community work, etc.

    Other than experience, she should show what she's actually done in the past to show she's a unifier and a community worker.

    January 27, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. veronica lynne

    Democrats are such wimps.
    They vote for whoever they think is being picked on!
    HRC in New Hampshire, Obama in S.C.
    Get some backbone Democrats!

    January 27, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  24. Larry Buchas, New Britain, CT

    It's very simple.

    Scenario #1:

    The Democrats make Hillary their nominee and they lose again. The huge numbers of Afro-Americans and young people supporting Obama will not turn up during the general election to vote for Hillary. However, Hillary would energize the Republican base to come out against her. That's a given.

    Scenario #2:

    The Democrats make Obama their nominee and they win. The huge numbers of Afro-Americans and young people will continue to support Obama and lead him to a sweeping win. The Republican base will essentially be neutered and even some will go for Obama.

    The choice is ours.

    January 27, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. Gladys

    Obama I am pulling for you. Keep going. We do not need the Clinton's in again. We have all reasdy had Hillary when Bill was in office. We need a change. We need you.

    January 27, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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