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. eva

    Jerry, I think you are talking about majority of African- Americans, if not , then speak for yourself. It is better that way!!!

    January 26, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  2. Wayne

    Well there it is folks. Negative and irresponsible campaigning just doesn't cut it. Senator Obama truly deserves this win tonight, because he had to over-come quite a bit with the merciless attacks on his integrity. Thank God for the smart voters in South Carolina!! Go Obama!!!!

    January 26, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  3. Fred

    Why is CNN showing an inconsequential speech by Bill Clinton in Missouri at length while the election results in South Carolina are coming in???? What the h*** is going on at CNN?

    January 26, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  4. Boomer for Obama

    Why is CNN showing a political speech by NONCANDIDATE Bill Clinton???Isn't this race about candidates?? What about the other spouses?? Where is Hilary...shouldn"t she be making a speech about the VOTE in South Carolina??

    January 26, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  5. Darth Vadik, CA

    Bubba should have kept his mouth closed, he only hurt Hillary.

    January 26, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  6. 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.

    January 26, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  7. John, NY

    Bill was the best president of America in the modern times.
    We the democrats, love Bill Clinton.
    We love Hillary and Obama too.
    Sorry Republicans, your president just distroyed our country.
    You should shut up your party and let the democrats have their chance

    January 26, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  8. ne,pa

    The thought of two Clintons running the White House exhausts me!

    January 26, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  9. scottkarpe

    Hillary left for a few days to campaign in other states while Bill did the rest. I agree with Obama when he said he was running against them both.

    January 26, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. Wilson

    he needs to keep their home clean.

    January 26, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  11. savant

    Wow, voters actually saw through the two headed monster's ploy. If only the rest of the voters do. The power hungry people should just go into exile!

    January 26, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  12. Charles

    Imagine a campaign consisting of Obama vs McCain. No Clintons and the baby boomer attack machine shut down so it can not engage in the politics of personal destruction.

    McCain the Silent Generation and Obama Generation X, debating issues.

    Obama has a policy blue book, it’s available to anyone and it is very specific on policy on every important issue imaginable. McCain is also issue orientated.

    It would be refreshing and interesting and good for the Country. The Clintons can retire to the Dominican Republic where they have a house and can't make much of a mess.

    January 26, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. Teresa, Kansas

    SO PROUD AMERICA SAW THROUGH THE NASTY CLINTON GAMES!!!

    January 26, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. independent voter

    Why ,when Obama has just won by a huge margin, does CNN choose to broadcast Bill's speech from Independence Missouri? I understand that as a former President, he makes news. In this instance, however, he is a candidate's spouse on the campaign trail. Will you break in to show Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Edwards making remarks as well?
    The big story is that Obama will unite the nation and the Clintons will chew us up and spit us out in a million pieces.
    The Clintons had their chance. It's not up to the American public to repair their poor legacy of scandal and shame.

    January 26, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  15. colleen

    I can't believe the people of South Carolina could be so stupid! Obama is too green to lead the nation! There are too many problems in the world to have a president who has to learn on the job! I swore I would never vote Republican but if it is between McCain and Obama, I will probably vote for Mc Cain!

    January 26, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  16. bjorn14

    Finally, maybe Bill will get the hint and shut the hell up. I hope Hillary goes to jail for concealing $2 million in campaign funds from her Senate campaigns.

    January 26, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. Vic Thompson

    Bill and Hilary clinton talks about expirence, well bill you did not have expirence when you became president and she became senator. the pioneers of past and of the future didnt have expirence before they became millionaires and billionaires. I think that people in america want leaders with ideas to lead this country and not become the status quo. we send kids to Iraq and other countries to fight a war that they did not start and they do not have expirence fighting a war.

    January 26, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  18. CC

    Why is Bill Clinton getting more press than Obama or Edwards or even Hillery?

    The press needs to quit covering him so much!

    January 26, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  19. aisha

    i m very disappointed with the results.i m a hillary supporter but i love obama too .i was praying that african people dont vote for obama that much because this aggrevates the situation in other parts of the country in dividing people by race .
    BUT ANYWAY CONRATULATIONS TO OBAMA

    January 26, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  20. Tom

    We had Bush, then Clinton, Bush agian. I think we need Obama before we need another Clinton to follow Bush this time. Bill is reminding me this.

    January 26, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  21. fishermf40@hotmail.com

    Nothing about the Clintons surprise me any more. The thought of the Clintons back in the White House gives me chills and a tummy ache!

    January 26, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. jpp5006

    Go Billy Boy, Go! More scams and lies are just around the corner. Wait, I always heard thet Bush was a bad guy, he just not matter anymore. Stupid libs.

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

    Who's running in this race? Bill or Hillary? Seems like Bill would like a second go in the White House.... um, I mean, he would like his wife to have a go...

    January 26, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  24. Ki Ho'alu Kid

    Half truths? With Bill and Hillary, half truths would be an improvement.

    January 26, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  25. Geepa

    I find it hard to believe that ANYONE would want to vote for either Clinton, given what we now know about them. For the country's sake, lets not put another Clinton in the White House!!

    January 26, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
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