January 26th, 2008
07:57 PM ET
11 years ago

Exit polls: Bill Clinton's effect

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/26/art.billclintoneff.gi.jpg caption=" 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. JJ from Canada

    George I and Georg II,

    Bill and Hill

    Enough already!!!

    Get some new blood.

    Get your country back again

    January 26, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  2. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    Before the Clinton's dismiss this as a black candidate winning in a primarily black primary, please note that Obama won in Iowa that is 95% white, and competed strongly in New Hampshire and Nevada. Not necessarily highly populated African American states.

    Obama has proved that he can transcend race, gender, and political affiliation. He WILL unite this country.

    January 26, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  3. Arlis

    Enough of both of them (Hillary and Bill) and their divisive political campagin tactics.

    January 26, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  4. kevin from alaska

    People aren't stupid, politicians are.

    January 26, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  5. Sakeena

    I used to like the Clintons, and hadnt decided who I was rooting for.Now when
    I see how dirty they are being it makes me side more with Barakc Obama.
    In fact if Hillary wins the democratic nominee this will be the first time I refuse to vote.

    January 26, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  6. Homer

    Bill Clinton needs a good smack down, and I hope Obama is the one who finally gives it to him. Bill is a transparent wise-guy who should be selling appliances in Arkansas.

    January 26, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  7. Toby

    In fact, among those voters who thought Bill Clinton's campaigning was "very important," Hillary Clinton actually beat Obama despite losing heavily among voters overall.

    January 26, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  8. Josh Cook

    I was just wondering...

    If Hilary wins could she elect Bill as her vice????

    January 26, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  9. L.C.

    You cant cover up being a slim-oid with fancy talk and fancy suits – Mr. Clinton makes me sick to my stomach – If my life was on the line the last person I would want in my fox hole is him.

    January 26, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  10. Bob

    Bill Clinton seems to be a man lacking both shame and decency. As an ex-president he should be trying to help unite our country not continue to polarize it. Enough is enough!!

    January 26, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  11. judy

    Speaking of the Clintons...has anyone else noticed the sudden push to allow the sanctioned votes of Michigan and Florida to count towards the nomination?
    Hiliary mentioned it on Friday and Bill mentioned it tonight in his speech in Missouri..he mentioned a win in Florida and making those votes and delegates count.

    January 26, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  12. Gunnymorris

    I'm a 47 year old white guy in Charleston SC and I voted for Obama today, specifically to stop Bill and Hillary from getting back in the White House. I haven't voted for a democrat since 1988, and hadn't planned on it until Obama came along.

    January 26, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  13. Sid Blumenthal

    Wait until more Americans get to vote.

    January 26, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  14. Pamela

    I think Bill Clinton is acting like the spoiled brat that isn't getting his way. I think his attitude and Hilary's is like they were counting on winning with no problem. Now, they have an opponent they didn't think would matter. If you notice, one of her answers on the debate about the war in Iraq, she said "At the end of my first term I would .......". She has already won the election and is counting on a second term. That's pompous! I think the dirty politics just shows that nothing will change in the race for the While House and nothing will change if she wins. Obama stands for change and that is exactly what this country needs.

    January 26, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  15. Ed Miller

    It's about time voters realize how evil the Clintons are.. Maybe Iowa and South Carolina is starting to understand.. What about the rest of the United States. As I talk to people amazing how many women voted for Hilary because she was a woman.. Funny and I thought women were the the less prejudice of all.. If that's the reason your voting... because he's black like me.. or because he's a woman.. should you really be voting at all.. Very disppointing women.. I know your the better sex.. , but disappointing..

    January 26, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  16. Susan

    It amazes me that Americans have said time and time again that they don't want to hear about the "bickering" and yet the media continues to bait the candidates and dominate the headlines with how horrible the situation is. Get over it. If they can't take a little abuse from each other how are they ever going to deal with the Republican "mean machine"? Everyday, issues like our economy become more and more crucial and if you listen real hard you can actually hear where each of the candidates stand – it's not easy, and you have to tune out the media, but they ARE trying to get their messages out. I'd like to know more about the deal Hillary claims our "great leader" is brokering to keep us in Iraq that she talked about in the debate. How can he continue to do his dirty work outside of the checks and balances of our government and THE MEDIA isn't all over THAT??Come on, help us out here guys – focus on what really matters. I don't blame Al Gore for not running. I guess EVERYONE has given up.

    January 26, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  17. Ann Jones

    The main reasons Obama beat Hillary Clinton were because Oprah campaigned for him in South Carolina and the majority of the voters in South Carolina are black!

    January 26, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  18. Bill G

    When all else fails, LIE. The Clintons memory loss and lack of details, except when it is in their best interest.

    This was a RACIAL attack on OBAMA.

    Bill and Hillary and their friends constantly used borderline comments to inflame the public....

    FORTUNATELY, the public was smart enough to see through the smoke...

    Bill, go away.

    Hillary, You are the biggest CON ARTIST in politics.


    Go OBAMA... !!!

    January 26, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  19. leigh

    Maybe now the press will stop treating him like a rock star and make him prove his qualifications and readiness for office. As much as he has pop appeal, I haven't heard anything but slogans from his campaign.

    January 26, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  20. Deb

    South Carolina voters do not represent the rest of the country, Hillary will win hands down in the more educated states. This country was in great shape when Bill was president, Bush has run it into the ground. Whoever gets the Democratic Nomination will get my vote!

    January 26, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  21. Joe

    When Clinton shakes his finger you know he's lying hook him to a lye detector the needle would go bonkers.

    January 26, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  22. Honey bunny

    I think the people have had it with the way the Clintons conduct themselves and their campaigns. We need forward thinking and consensus-building to lead this country on a new path, not the same old devisiveness.

    January 26, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  23. sylvester

    I told you, Black people are free in America.They can distinguish between a demagogue and a real black man that can be president. The Clintons thought that the black americans were their servant or the house boy of their houses.

    January 26, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  24. Colleen

    Thank god! I'm so glad that Obama has this victory, and hope he can continue the trend... I think the Clintons showed their true colors in their ceaseless spinning this week. Most Americans have had enough – let's move on.

    January 26, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  25. Michael - Connecticut

    This wasn't about Bill Clinton this was about the media showing discrimination against Hillary Clinton, the majority of the media in my opinion has been very bias against Hillary and in favor of Senator Obama. Why not treat both candidates equal? Both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama love their country and want to improve things. Oprah also going back was on the road and in my opinion she wrongly used Dr. Martin Luther King Jr which gave me the impression she was trying to divide the black and white voters. I could be wrong but that's my personal opinion. Hasn't President Bush divided this country enough? It's time to bring everyone in our great nation together. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was a wonderful man with a wonderful message, he wanted to bring everyone together not divide. Race and gender should have nothing to do with voting, you vote for the person who you think will do the best job and the majority of the media should be ashamed of themselves the way they have brought race and gender into this election. This takes away from the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was talking about of bringing people together treated equal and with respect regardless of race and gender.

    January 26, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
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