Poll: Clinton outshines Obama?
September 11th, 2012
08:32 AM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Clinton outshines Obama?

(CNN) - Is former President Bill Clinton overshadowing the current president?

According to a new poll, more people say that the former president's speech was the highlight from last week's Democratic convention rather than the acceptance address given by President Barack Obama.

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A Pew Research Center survey indicates that 29% of national adults who watched at least a little coverage of the Charlotte, North Carolina convention said that Clinton's Wednesday night address was the highlight, with 16% saying the same thing about Obama's Thursday night speech and 15% saying that first lady Michelle Obama's Tuesday night address was the highlight.

During his 48-minute long speech, Clinton formally entered Obama's name into nomination.

Obama may be in good company. The poll also indicates that 20% of those who watched at least a little coverage of the Republican convention, held in Tampa, Florida the previous week, said that actor Clint Eastwood's impromptu speech was the highlight, slightly edging out the 17% who said that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's acceptance address was the highlight.

The Pew Research Center poll was conducted Sept. 7-9, with 1,012 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story

soundoff (216 Responses)
  1. SuperD

    The best line I heard was from Investors Business Daily who called Clinton the "arsonist" of sub prime meltdown in 2007-2008, which in fact he was, but they trot him out in front of the convention making him look like a hero for the inferno he started.

    Dems are amazing, I wish I could go thru life and ignore facts and realities and get away with it.

    September 11, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. rich

    If, as a President, your want someone who can charm but mislead and you want someone who can distort to sway your vote, Bill Clinton was your man and is who you should rely on for your next choice. For him to claim any credit for the Americ...an gains under his Presidency and not give credit to a Republican Congress, who drew the country out of the troubles in his first two years, is hypocritical. When he blames the increase in deficit under Regan solely on the President and not also on the Democratically controlled Congress who spent without regard to revenues, is silly. Tell people what they want to hear and some will follow. He treats this country like he treated his women.
    Let face the truth, it was many of Bill Clinton's policies that brought us to where we are today

    September 11, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Clinton has an approval rating of 67% of Americans, and now, even the republicans who fought him every step of the way realize he did a good job. The current baggers and birthers in congress have fought our president every step of the way, promising to make America suffer, in order to make Obama a one term president. When he leaves office in 2016, Obama will be the one with the highest approval ratings.

    September 11, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Clinton must have been offered something from Obama for him to support him. Clinton cares little about the country and of course has never lied to the country!

    September 11, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. Tony

    The same poll also said that Eastwood's empty chair speech outshone Romney's speech at the Republican National Convention. Unlike Clinton, who is going to campaign for Obama, the empty chair is not going to campaign for Romney. Instead, the empty chair will go into hiding, so that it will not embarrass Romney further. You know, like George W. Bush. In Bush's defense, he was a much better candidate than Romney is, or ever will be.

    John McCain said that Sarah Palin was a better candidate than Mitt Romney. McCain said that was the reason he picked Palin instead of Romney in 2008.

    September 11, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. WiredWeirdinSF

    Maybe the key to the failure of the Obama administration lies in this, he has spent 600 hours of his presidency on the golf course and 412 hours in economic meetings. You know, priorities.

    September 11, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It isn't a huge surprise that Clinton did well and outshone Obama. Obama speaks well, but Clinton does much better in situations like that.

    September 11, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. Michelle

    Michelle Obama's speech was the highlight. President Clinton's speech was an effective response to the claims of republicans, and President Obama's acceptance sppech was anti climatic and just the right conclusion to one of the best conventions I've seen in a long, long time.

    September 11, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. Orso

    Yes, but that is not a problem for us, we Democrats know that we have a lot of talent on our side, and all our leaders work in conjunction to make this a better country. During our convention we had great speakers, Clinton, Obama, Emmanuel, Castro, Fluke, etc, etc.

    On the other hand, what did the GOP have? a few hateful remarks from a bunch of confused people who are not sure where they stand on any issue, except their relentless goal to obstruct the current administration.

    Fluke's speech was more remarkable in content and eloquence than Romney's, and she is not currently running for public office. That should tell you something about the GOP.

    September 11, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. Len Smith

    He gave a great speech and he is a great President so why shouldn't we all be proud of President Clinton? We should all be proud of President Obama, too as he has guided us out of the worse recession in my life time and we are slowly coming back, and he did it mostly on his own. Even the Leadership of the Democrats were not much help and the Republicans, the lost party NONE. So shout out for Presidents Clinton and Obama.

    September 11, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. Orso

    Yes, but that is not a problem for us, we Democrats know that we have a lot of talent on our side, and all our leaders work in conjunction to make this a better country. During our convention we had great speakers, Clinton, Obama, Emmanuel, Castro, etc, etc.

    On the other hand, what did the GOP have? a few h ateful remarks from a bunch of confused people who are not sure where they stand on any issue, except their relentless goal to obstruct the current administration.

    F luke's speech was more remarkable in content and eloquence than Romney's, and she is not currently running for public office. That should tell you something about the GOP.

    September 11, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. Laurie in Spokane

    Clinton's not stealing any thunder. He's just stirring up the followers. Anything that works to get Obama re-elected works for me.

    September 11, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    Doesn't matter if Clinton outshined President Obama's speech. Clinton did his job and helped President Obama with a 5% bounce in the polls. In contrast, old man Eastwood and the empty chair proved a detriment to Romney who received no bounce.

    September 11, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. JohnRJohnson

    The purpose of Clinton's speech at the Democratic convention was entirely different than Obama's. Clinton demonstrated how easy it is attack misinformation and outright lies. He had a long list of specific issues to cover where he could present concrete, indisputable examples of where Romney and, especially, Paul Ryan had lied, not only about Obama's policies, but also about their own positions. It was a 'target rich environment' for Clinton and he obviously enjoyed dismantling the RNC. Obama's speech was more ephemeral as it had more to do with the future. Of course, he couldn't be too specific about that because, as we all know, a lot of that future will depend on the Republicans who remain in Congress after the election and how obstructionist they want to be.

    September 11, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. Orso

    Yes, but that is not a problem for us, we know that we have a lot of talent on our side, and all our leaders work in conjunction to make this a better country. During our convention, we had great speakers, Clinton, Obama, Emmanuel, Castro, etc.

    On the other hand, what did the GOP have? a few hateful remarks from a some confused people who are not sure where they stand on any issue, except their relentless goal to obstruct the current administration.

    Fluke's speech was more remarkable in content and eloquence than Romney’s was, and she is not currently running for public office. That should tell you something about the GOP.

    September 11, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  16. Rush L

    President Clinton said things that President OBama couldn't say without sounding like he's whining. President Clinton gave the Democrats the blue print for responding to the GOP distortions/lies. I don't think President Obama minds one bit, and I don't either. President Obama will have his moment at the debates.

    September 11, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. simp

    clinton is a great speaker we all know that, but he is not running for president, we already have one and he is going to stay. so what some think his speech was better than the President's, CNN it's not a competition.

    CNN what you need to research is the interview don lemon had with Rep Schultz over the weekend. I think it was shameful how lemon kept saying it was almost impossible not to know that God and Jerusalem was left out of the platform, he constatnty accused her of lying. I was glad when she responded to him by saying she found it insulting that he keeps insisting it was not an oversight. He is the typical bias new jerk as the rest of the CNN bunch. I was so glad TJ got the hell out of there and is now on TVONE!!!

    September 11, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  18. jorge washinsen

    Truth hurts don't it?

    September 11, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. Orso

    That is not a problem for us, we know that we have a lot of talent on our side, and all our leaders work in conjunction to make this a better country. During our convention, we had great speakers, Clinton, Obama, Emmanuel, Castro, etc.

    What did the GOP have? A few vile remarks from some confused people who are not sure where they stand on any issue, except for their relentless goal to obstruct the current administration.

    Even Sandra Fluke's speech was more remarkable in content and eloquence than Romney’s was, and she is not currently running for public office. That should tell you something about the GOP.

    September 11, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. REG in AZ

    Either people's impressions are more emotional than logical or reporters credits are more manipulated than informative.

    September 11, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. Orso

    That is not a problem for us, we know that we have a lot of talent on our side, and all our leaders work in conjunction to make this a better country. During our convention, we had great speakers, Clinton, Obama, Emmanuel, Castro, etc.

    September 11, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. jorge washinsen

    CNN should try printing the facts instead of rigging elections.

    September 11, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. jorge washinsen

    You asked for comments on the subject ,I did not.

    September 11, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. Paul

    Obama needed Clinton to outshine him in order to win. Digitally Undivided

    September 11, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. Orso

    That is not a problem for us, we know that we have a lot of talent on our side, and all our leaders work in conjunction to make this a better country. During our convention, we had great speakers:
    Barak Obama
    Bill Clinton
    Rahm Emanuel
    Julian Castro
    Etc, etc
    What did the GOP have? A few vile remarks from some confused people who are not sure where they stand on any issue, except for their relentless goal to obstruct the current administration.
    Even Sandra Fluke's speech was more remarkable in content and eloquence than Romney’s was, and she is not currently running for public office. That should tell you something about the GOP.

    September 11, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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