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. Gladys

    Yes, I was wondering if Bill was running against Obama. It sure sounds like it.

    Bill Hillary can not run this country. She would curl up and start crying the first time there is a terrorist attack. She does not know what to do. Thae American people would have to bail her out instead of her bailing our country out.

    My vote goes to Obama.

    January 27, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. Matrix

    Hillary and Bill are only in this for them selves. They don’t care about us, the Democrat Party or respect the office of the Presidency. They will do anything to regain the office even circumventing the laws of our land which limits a Presidency to two terms. Think about it, they will be back in the White House for four to eight more years.. Do we really want that? Also, Bill disrespected the office while president and is doing so now by his personal attacks on Obama. His comments on Obama has been child like and unbecoming a former President. Hillary nor the Democratic Party has any control over him. So, what makes everyone think he will respect the office once back in the White House again. Basically, he will try to regain the White House from Hillary unless she can control him which she has been unable or unwilling to do thus far.

    Obama needs to stay out of the mud fight with them and return to the issues and his vision of the future for our great nation.

    January 27, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. Becky Montgomery

    There is a difference in the way Michelle campaigns for Barack and the way Bill does for Hillary. Bill distorts the truth and then says "I'm not making this up." The fact that he slept at a MLK service, knowing the camera was on him speaks volumes.

    I think Romney said it best–"Does anyone want Hillary for president with Bill in the White House with nothing to do?"

    Forgive me for thinking that a Republican said something good–I am an independent. Obama would understand. Obama has my vote and my donation.

    January 27, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Eileen Beckers

    Yes Bill, you did MESS UP big time in Hillary's SC campaign- SHUT UP BILL – it's Hillary's turn now. Leave her alone – she's good.

    January 27, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. Gladys

    I think the polls had better be ready to count, because I would not be surprised if Bill pays to have Hillary win. They need to be hooked up to a lie detector.
    Wrongful votes is the only way Hillary has of being our next president.
    Only in experienced voters would submit their votes for her at the polls.
    There is no way she will keep our country safe which should be our first concern.
    Then our Health issues, and then we need to remove the immigrants from our country.
    I think Obama, could and would do this. GO OBAMA.

    January 27, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. Ted

    Whether Bill is helping HILLARY"S campaign, this is politics people. Everyone even Obama will do everything to win it!

    I admire Bill Clinton for supporting HILLARY, I believe in her and she gets our family's support. She is leading the national polls and that is a reflection of how the American wants it. HILLARY will win the White House and you guys should be ready for it, especially the Republicans!

    January 27, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Erica

    dismayed in MI: What we saw in the SC primary IS Hillary! How Clintonites continue to ignore the obvious character flaws of the Clintons is astounding. "Dirty politics" is the Clinton's middle name....they, like no one else, have fined tuned "dirty politics" to an art form.

    January 27, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. Can'tYouSee

    Bill is trying to redeem himself in Hillary's eyes and also ours after the humiliation he put her through in the '90. The world watched it on TV.
    Such a loving and supporting husband! The perfect couple!
    Leave Obama out of it.
    OBAMA 08!!!!

    January 27, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. OBAMA4EVER

    THANK YOU LARRY....IF GOD FORBID HILLARY WINS THE NOM I WOULD VOTE FOR MCCAIN INSTEAD OF HER

    January 27, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. charlotte

    Ted Kennedy to endorse Opama. Now that is one Kennedy I'm glad Hillary did not get an endorsement from. Can you just hear the Opama supporters jump on that like stink on s–t. Ted and Bill two peas in a pod. Mary Jo, the lake, the car , the time laspes, the cover-up, yes they would have a field day. Now what? How will they continue to claim the future man will fix old Washington. Talk about old guard

    January 27, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. EM, Greensboro, NC

    It is time for the Clintons to ride off into the sunset.

    January 27, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Henry

    Bill Clinton tactics in this political process demonstrates he nor his wife are not concerned about the people, only self gain. Clintons interjected race to take away white votes from Mr. Obama. Does this appear to be someone who is of presidential quality. Clintons have continuously distorted the truth and lied against a fellow democrate who happens to be African American. I guess we are expected to believe the Clintons actually care for African Americans or any of us.

    We need to wake up, verify facts, pay attention, and look at the whole picture. Only then will we know who has the capacity and dedication to run our country for all the people. Shame on and my God have mercy on the Clintons.

    January 27, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Joseph DeSousa

    Intersting as if anyone is above dirty politics...

    Mr clean would be dirty in no time... are we that stupid to believe anyone can be in washington without being political...

    Wow how ignorent people amaze me.

    January 27, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. Davis

    Erica/dismayed in MI:

    You are completely right. Although the comments made by both Clintons in the last two weeks had left me with a sour taste in my mouth, Hillary's antics at the Congressional Black Caucus debate infuriated me. I was appalled at her shrieking, condescending and characteristically disrespectful comments towards Senator Obama. I had much admiration for Bill Clinton, although I have lost that during this campaign. He is thirsty for power again, perhaps the only person in the country more thirsty for it than Hillary. Hillary rides on Bill's shoulders–without him, she is a side note at best.

    Obama has been compared to JFK because of his ability to inspire people across the spectrum, beyond the perceived divisions, something that has definitely not been seen since the Kennedy administration.. Although I will not speak for all back Carolinians, I can say for myself that HIllary completely turned me off in the last Democratic debate. Whereas before I had said that I would vote for HIllary if she won the nomination, although I would rather see Obama get it, she has lost my vote if that becomes reality. I would never vote for any of the Repulbican talking heads, but I will not support the wicked witch from the west.

    Obama '08

    January 27, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. j.r.

    Mr. Bill Cinlton keep up the good work supporting your wife ,our next president. Some Americans haven't learn jet ,you pick the person most cualifid for president .look what happen when they elected Bush over Algore that's why we are in this mess.

    January 27, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. 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 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. james radford

    I was so fired up for Hillary.....but i am just so sick of her and bad boy bill......my support goes to obama....i just want a democrat

    January 27, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  18. v.ananthan

    ******************************************************************************
    WE KNOW THAT YOU LOVE AND RESPECT THE AFIRICAN AMERICAN PEOPLE AND IT WAS REALLY SAD TO SEE THAT EVERY THING WAS INTERPRETET AGAINST YOU.

    WE ARE WITH YOU CLINTON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 27, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  19. ray of light

    3 WORDS

    YES WE CAN !!

    OBAMA /EDWARDS '08

    January 28, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  20. ray of light

    WILL PETER PAUL BE HOLDING THIS FUNDRAISER FOR THE CLINTONS? (PUN INTENDED)

    YOU KNOW THE GUY WHO HELD A FUNDRAISER FOR THE CLINTONS, AND THE CLINTONS LIED

    AND DIDN’T

    REPORT ALL THE MONEY THEY MADE FROM IT?

    THEY HAD TO RETURN $35,000 THAT THEY HADNT REPORTED.

    THEY ALSO HAD TO RETURN ITEMS THEY TOOK FROM THE WHITEHOUSE WHEN THEY LEFT IN

    THE 90′S. THIEVERY TO THE END IT SEEMS.

    SEE THE SIGNS OF THE CLINTON DISHONESTY FOLKS??

    OBAMA ‘08: HONESTY, INTEGRITY,CHANGE, & HOPE FOR ALL AMERICANS -WHITE, BLACK,

    ASIAN AND LATINOS.

    January 28, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  21. Sandy

    "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Bill looked directly into the camera when he announced that boldfaced lie. Why should now be any different?

    January 28, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  22. Dan

    I've noticed that the Clinton economy is one of the reasons people seem to consider when voting for Clinton. But what you have to remember is that you can't necessarily connect a President with the economy, whether good or bad. There are a whole bunch of factors that go into it. For example, right now, the housing slump that is causing the recession isn't all Bush's fault. Much of it actually has to do with the interest-only loans that became popular a few years ago. Likewise, the economy in the 90s had already begun to pick up when Clinton took office, so it wasn't completely all his doing. Besides, if you were to connect Bill Clinton with the 90s boom, you would also have to connect him with the dot-com burst in 2000 and all of its effects.

    January 28, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. Barton449

    Clinton's comment that "Obama is just like Jackson" is the political equivalent of Imus's 'nappy headed hoes." Clinton and his wife should be treated equivalently.

    January 28, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. kathleen brewer

    I think hillary is THE BEST person. Obama made a racial statement in the last debate.Doesnt anyone remember? he said he couldnt say if Bill was black because he never saw Bill dance . If thats not profiling I dont know what it is. Obama says he wants to correct the ratio of blacks and whites going to prison. The best way to do that is STOP the profiling. How do you expect things to change when even Obama profiles!! To top it off he defended the slum lords . How can he do this type of thing and still play the race card? Not to mention he never learned the bacics of the National Anthem, then had enough nerve to blame that on his grandfather. What does that tell you? It tells me he hasnt learned enough to take this office . Yes we need change but we also need someone with more experience . Hillary knows the change we need and has the experience .She doesnt need on the job training .

    January 28, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  25. Jan Reynolds

    I loved and supported the Clintons since 1990. I defended him to everybody I knew throughout his impeachment proceedings. I defended Hillary and spoke up for her dignity as a wife and mother who treasured family values while sticking with her marriage. I now see how naive I was. The Clintons are dishonest and ugly people and willing to lie about a perfectly wonderful candidate, Obama, just to get into office. They have disappointed so many people. I swear I'll vote for a Republican before I vote for Hillary.

    January 29, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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