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. Sara

    Congrats to Obama on his S.C. win. As a Democrat, I thought it was shameful the way the Clintons have been going after Obama. Their dirty tactics are making me lose whatever respect I've had for them. Bill campaigning for Hillary is definitely a negative and I'm not buying into the new, more human Hillary either. I wish Gore were in the race.

    January 26, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  2. JJ from Canada

    In more moderate terms, I do hope the experience of the last few weeks has given voters a sense of the need to explore new leadership. It is frightening for many living outside the USA to consider more of the same over the past decade and a half. Please look for new leadership. Take your country back.

    January 26, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  3. John

    I wish this was a legitimate competition. The Clintons have the system rigged. They'll be left standing and everyone will wonder how they pulled it off. All polls will say Obama but the votes will say Hillary. Sorry but that's the way it is.

    January 26, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  4. Shane

    Barack is playing the same game the Clintons are, you just haven't seen him before, he has the same advisors others have had in the past, and right now you are all falling for the journalistic view of politics. Lets let the candidates show how they plan to work in the White House and back up what they have to say. don't nake your choices onwhat they are fighting about, because all of them play dirty politics, vote for what you want your president to do, not on how well he plays the political game...

    Whatever happened to fair politics and journalism?

    January 26, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  5. Eduardo

    Told you so...
    ...the Clintons of today are the same Clintons of yesterday...They can turn into cutthroat ruffians in a nanosecond...or cry on demand.
    I will also tell you this:
    Do you remember “the Vast Right Wing conspiracy”? Well, Hillary did say all sort of things to keep Bill in power ( and keep her share of that power)… Now Hillary wants to be President so badly ...people do not chage much...she will say and do ANYTHING to get there...with your help.

    January 26, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  6. Jeanie

    Yes, please let's move on. I'm happy as well as for Sen. Obama.

    January 26, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  7. Lori

    Go Bill Go! keep making a fool of yourself and making the voters mad! More votes for my man Obama.

    January 26, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  8. henriettap

    Hillary and Bill should take a hint from South Carolina that all their trying to divide that state didn't work they need to be reminded that the people in the country are trying to move forward.there is no looking backwards because if you do you will soon run into a closed door.Hillary needs to start running on her merits quit distorting the truth.I'm giving my vote to Obama.

    January 26, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  9. JJ from Canada

    Bill was doing what he should.

    January 26, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  10. jenn


    January 26, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. Eugenia

    Who is running for President, Bill or Hillary? Sometimes I wonder. I had enough of both of them. They both have master the art of deceiving people, and America needs to wake up before it is too late!

    January 26, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  12. Justin

    Carville & Begala are on board ,so it will get nastier.

    Hillary & Bills latest lie.

    Hillary says Bill told her yesterday that he feels he MAY have went too far.

    Hillary's suggestion...Let both camps be civil,stop the insults & accusations and concentrate on issues...lol

    Well yes,I guess so...they got in their best shots in SC,where they knew they would lose.
    Now going into super tuesday,where she leads in many states with large delegate counts by a two to one margin...she wants issues only.


    January 26, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  13. Beauchesne

    Every time Hillary talks, it reminds me of my ex-wife telling me I was wearing the wrong tie. Somehow, I don't think she can get us to pull together.

    January 26, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  14. WW - New York

    I was wowed by his words of hope! I know some say their just words.. well you know what so has the past presidents lies!! I rather believe in hopes than lies any day. I'm so glad he showed that it wasn't just the black vote! look at the win.. People please give the whites credit for voting for him.. I sure am!!

    January 26, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  15. David, Minneapolis

    Rev. Jones III – If Obama names Hillary to any post (which of course she would not accept, being as self-important as she is), that would be proof positive that he has no character. In fact, if the Democrat party is successful in establishing socialized medicine in this country, where will all of my European and Canadian friends go for medical care?

    January 26, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  16. Sis O, IA

    Bill and Hillary Clinton's divisive identity politics simply did not work. Thanks SC.

    January 26, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  17. Terry Grant

    I think that if I hear, or even see another Clinton again I'll puke. They are representative of what is screwed up in politics, and they are also representatives of the last century. It's long past time for them to be gone from the political scene and it's time for a very refreshing new energy to hit Washington. Barak Obama is that man.

    January 26, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  18. Tanner of KS

    I admire Bill Clinton for supporting Hillary, I think I would also if I believe in HILLARY! Hillary is the only candidate who is ready on Day 1.

    GO HILLARY on February 5th. The SC result is interesting, it makes this politics very colorful. I would really want the Feb. 5th to come and see HILLARY wins!

    January 26, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  19. Sis O, IA

    Obama is running against two people in the Clintons. Both Hillary and Bill and Obama got over 50% of the vote. YES WE CAN America!

    January 26, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  20. JMcLean

    I felt Bill should of stayed in the shadows of Hilary's campaign, everyone seemed to be drawn to him and not her, but, not in a good way. He became unpresidential...and a negative effect in his wife's fight to the White House

    January 26, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  21. Amy

    This is amazing. Obama is running against two people in the Clintons. Both Hillary and Bill and Obama got over 50% of the vote. YES WE CAN America!

    January 26, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  22. Bill in Montgomery, AL

    Do yu know how to tewll if Billary and Hillary are lying? Their lips are moving!!!!!

    January 26, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  23. Tilford

    Wish someone would explain to me exactly what Bill & Hill did to improve the lot
    of Black Americans during 8 years in the White House. Could it be they are just beginning to understand what "shysters" the Clintons are and have always been.

    January 26, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  24. Daisy

    I am all out rooting for Obama. I live in Texas and it is mostly a Republican state. Drives me crazy and makes me feel my vote never counts. I am excited about the prospect of having hope in our government again, and I believe completely In Barack. I have a bumper sticker.. Back Barack, but anyone's better than Hilary. It i amazing to me though that people seem to have completely forgotten and the news media has yet to bring it up, that Bill Clinton was almost impeached (or was, I was young when it was all happening) and I believe in my memory the reason for it was because of Hilary's real estate business, and how her papers or something wasn't right?.. anyway the point I'm trying to make is.. here we have a president that at the near end of his term was nearly impeached and people seriously want him back in the white house???????? craziness.. and don't believe for one second that just because hilary is running that he's not going to be all up in her business. please please don't let our current state of affair in this country be enough pressure to put those bozo's back in office... please vote for hope! We need you Obama!

    January 26, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  25. Jay

    Dirty Dealings...The Race Card

    When Hillary won the New Hampshire primary, no one not even Old Bill nor Hillary's surrogates insinuated that Hillary won because of her race. If you do recall, New Hampshire is a predominantly white state. However, as the South Carolina primary approached, the issue of race-black,white-became a hot topic even among members of the media. And the Clintons do not plan to get off this bandwagon anytime soon as they think this tactic would win them the Democratic nomination and eventually the white house. What a dirty way to play the Race card in the "United States"!!!

    January 26, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
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