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. AlaskaLady

    There is definately a race factor there in SC., estimated 81% of African-Americans voted for Obama, I think there will be a pretty large shift in other Super Tuesday states, as a result of this. There was no balance here, but a landslide from the African-American people – and most of the people in America see this.

    I'd vote Republician before I'd ever vote for this man; and race has nothing to do with it for me.

    January 26, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  2. Responsiblevoter

    Sakeena's plan is not a fair game in politics. Majority roles, so whoever wins in final primary must be respected and supported.

    January 26, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  3. steveforbertfan

    Not voter fraud, but Clinton fatigue. How about a new president whose last name is not Bush OR CLINTON!

    January 26, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  4. Marylue McCombs

    OMG, All this gleeful bashing of Hillary and Bill by your "experts". I thought I was watching Fox.

    January 26, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  5. Amused

    So much for the inevitability of Shrillary's nomination. Thought she was supposed to have it all in the bag long ago. Guess not.

    January 26, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  6. Kathy

    What a disappointment!

    January 26, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  7. independent thinker

    It dosen't have to be voter fraud, "jim car ville", it dosen't have to be.

    "Sakeena," John McCain will probably be the republican candidate. Instead of refusing to vote if Hillary wins, I would vote for McCain.

    Keep it up Billy boy, and you'll have Obama for the Democratic nominee. Oh well, I'd rather have him than Hillary (I meant Billary.)

    January 26, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  8. Rev. Kelpoitrine Jones, III

    It's important that Obama gets more than 50% of the vote so that Hillary cannot say that her loss was the result of white voters being split between her and Edwards. The big test in the coming months will be whether the black and white racists, including those with national prominence and followers, can hold their tongues long enough to allow the rest of us, white, black, yelllow, and brown, to elect Obama based on the content of his character. Obama's got a better than even chance of winning his league but when he plays the World Series, the Republicans are going to challenge him more thoroughly on his politics, which is something his Democrat opponents were unable to do because, when all was said and done, there wasn't a dime's worth of difference among any of the more serious Democrats. That, however, will not be the case with the Republicans and Obama had better be prepared to get hit with tougher questions on the war, economy, immigration, taxes, and health care. In order to survive, he will need more than hope. If Obama wins, I think he should offer Hillary a job as Secretary of HHS so she can continue her life's work of trying to get a universal health care program off the ground. Bill would make a great Consul General in Bermuda.

    January 26, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  9. Bob From Illinois

    I hope Obama wins, so we can get rid of the no term senator and get someone that will actually do the job he was voted to do.

    The big loser is the Democratic party and the nation.

    January 26, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  10. Grow Up

    Personally, I'm quite pleased that we're getting to some fighting between Clinton and Obama. No one is going to learn anything if they're both busy praising each other as good candidates. Let's stop being children and grow up! If you believe in the ideals and policies of a candidate, then vote for them. Quite frankly, I want the man/woman in office to fight for what they believe in – and sometimes you have to fight dirty.

    I like Obama, but I'm concerned that mister nice-guy-why-can't-we-all-get-along might get his teeth knocked in. The folk on Capitol Hill aren't going to make it easy on anyone and quite frankly, I think Hillary's got more cojones than Obama. I like him for veep though.

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

    I will never understand how some people cannot see how power hungry and coniving the Clintons have become. Obama may not win but he appears to be an honest and straightforward individual. I don't agree with him on a number of things but has 10 times the character of Bill and Hillary combined.

    Go Barack

    January 26, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. Jo Anne Smith

    I think the Clintons can't understand WHY and that all that charm is not working. Well...the answer is obvious...People DON"T want Hillary! She forgets that we had to endure 8 years of her already and her co-presidentcy with her husband.
    Gore was merely a figure head and somebody to sit as leader of the Senate.
    Frankly...I'm one of those undecided voters still...I'm sick of anybody from Washington running, I feel that they have not done anything for years and they have to take some of the blame of the way things are today. It's not totally Bush, the do nothing Congress could of stepped up to the plate long ago.
    I hope that this sends a clear message to those that are running for House/Senate seats that we are not happy and we want a change there TOO!
    I'm an advocate of supporting who ever is running against the incumbant. (Of course after I hear what they have to say first.)
    It's about time that we take back our country!

    January 26, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  13. paul

    I am ashamed of you people at cnn turning on Bill the way you and your old grayed haired people without any thing else to do but make up things about a good man trying to help his wife. I did have respect for cnn before this week and tonight. If you help another man in the white house like you did Bush the country may not survive and even you may be out of work. paul

    January 26, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  14. J. McKinney SW MO

    I don't think Clinton expected to win in SC, where the black population is so high. Race is DEFINATELY a big issue, no matter what anyone says. I look forward to Feb. 5. Hopefully she will do better then. Go, Hillary!!

    January 26, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  15. yuri

    I'm happy Obama won. Mainly because Clinton is reminds me of Diocletian or Milosevich. Anyway, you get my point: a tyrant in the making.

    January 26, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  16. Beans

    AWESOME! LOL, Clinton's–the "other" Democrats (the honest ones) are coming out against you. THEY recognize quality!

    And can I just say to , now that the SC results are in, "PAYBACKS ARE HELL, HELLARY!"

    This was a BIG WIN for Obama in SC, not just a slim win labeled as a "big win" by media for Clinton. Obama was still leading in delegates even with those supposed big wins. Media, why don't you start reporting things accurately? And CNN…how about doing away with your projected delegate wins page? It's crap.

    Possibly we should be looking at these results differently than how the media is looking at them.

    Iowa–they scrutinize candidates and picked a winner–Barack Obama!

    New Hamphire–the polls were wrong, but what was accurate was that at the time of the primaries Barack Obama was coming way up from the huge gap he was behind Clinton previously–it just wasn't as much as the polls were reporting. How dare you look at that as a huge loss. Look at the delegate count there–NOT a huge loss!

    Nevada–pretty much a tie–again, look at the delegate count.

    And now…in a state again where quality is recognized, Barack ROCKS SC! Who cares what color or gender people who voted there were. We are ALL in this together! Get a clue–this is not about race or gender. People don't want Hellery not because she's a woman, but because she's power hungry and dishonest! And they want Barack because he's honest, and offers us hope for change.

    How sweet it is………..how sweet it is…………….:)

    January 26, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  17. jordan

    Wow...Obama won SC. What a surprise! While Hillary may not be the best candidate, you know where she stands. If you all like the shiny new car (politician) in town, guess what....it's still a car. Also, people and politicians are both stupid. People do not sincerely educate themselves on the candidates. They follow the crowd and politicians wait around to take advantage. Got Experience?

    January 26, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  18. thomas

    I don't know which is worse. Seeing Bill Clinton act this way or hear my conservative father-in-law saying that he told me Clinton was like this all along.

    January 26, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  19. econdude

    Unfortunately, Hillary will still probably win the nomination. But think about how funny it will be when she loses the general election (will she cry, cackle, or erupt in a fit of screaming?).

    January 26, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  20. Grow Up

    ...and for the record, it was the Obama CAMPAIGN that PLAYED DIRTY!!! Spinning an innocent comment by Hillary into something she never meant. She was simply saying that great ideas need a great president to turn them into reality. It was a statement about leadership in general but the Obama folks craftily used it against Hillary. Just get your facts straight people!

    FWIW, I don't really care about either sides attacks as they are generally not accurate:

    Statement by Obama: Hillary served on board of Wal-Mart
    Fact: She did serve...and fought for the workers rights and was a thorn in Sam Walton's side.

    Statement by Clinton: Obama worked for a slum-lord
    Fact: He did when he was counsel at a law firm. But it was only a few hours and was not really involved much in the case.

    ...We're going to see both sides smear...this is politics so get over it. The important thing is whether the candidate represents your ideals and policies and is willing to fight for them.

    January 26, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  21. Interested Canuck

    Im sititng watching the Obama vistory speech and pleasantly pleased he is the victor. His message is fresh, insightful and inspirational. I read the previous comments and totally agree, the Clinton dynasty is divisive and archaic. Mr. Obama reminds us change will not be easy, but nothing good ever is! I continue to watch with great interest.

    January 26, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  22. Andrew

    Bill Clinton may not have helped in SC, but his performance there was about the whole race, not just that one state. The Clintons are going to get the nomination and will have destroyed Obama in the process. It's a shame, because he's a great candidate and one of the few that really makes me want to vote. However, he'll be undone by the cynical power grab by the Clinton machine.

    January 26, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  23. AL.

    I believe choosing the next president of the United States of America should not be determined by race or ethnic background, it should be about the candidate who is whole heartedly close to being honest, some one who knows the problems of the ordinary American citizen. i Think senator Obama is the right candidate, America please lets not make the same mistake the 3rd time since the last 8 years by voting in the wrong candidate just because u like them.

    January 26, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  24. Robert Bell

    Bill, GO HOME! Lying and shouting at reporters didn't help your wife, or the country.

    You just serve to remind us of the worst aspects of your Presidency.

    Of course, that depends on how you define "is".

    What is bad news for Hillary is that Obama got a majority of the women's vote.

    I am glad to see that the people of South Carolina saw through the lies and distortions.

    What about the REST of the country?

    January 26, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |

    so what about a comment I heard earlier on the Political Ticker--someone suggested that Republicans are voting for Obama in the Primarys so that he will become the candidate-–then they'll vote for their McCain candidate in the 2008 election.......is there truth to this? They probably would, too.....those Republicans have those kind of values..........

    January 26, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
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