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. doh

    Great line from Obama: "Defending against the Clintons' attacks is good preparation for Republican attacks this fall." hehe

    The guy is great.

    January 26, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  2. ProfPaul

    I was okay with Hillary and I like Bill but news reports have given me pause. Speculation that the former prez would be a power unto himself in a Hillary White House, dividing loyalties, demanding attention, and generally causing confusion similar to what's happening in the campaign are all causes for concern. I also think that the Clintons, for all their positives, have a divisive affect just too big to discount. Republicans have made it known that Hillary is their dream candidate b/c she would unite their tired, fractured, discredited party. Although Hillary is tough and would give them what they deserve, ultimately I must try to set aside the anger Bush-Cheney-Rove-DeLay-etc. have stirred and think about the good of the nation. We need someone who does not make a joke of uniting the country and can repair the hideous damage Bush has done internationally as well as domestically.
    I conclude that we need Barak.

    January 26, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  3. Rene

    We need new blood. The Clintons are the past. Obama is th future. Obama inspires. Hillary does not. I honestly hope and pray Obama goes all the way. What a bright future that would entail.

    January 26, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  4. Mookey

    amazing that many democrats are finally waking up to the fact that the Cintons' tactics are...well....tacky. and voting to send them away.

    January 26, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  5. Don Smith

    Way to go Bill you really helped Obama and keep up the good work.

    January 26, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  6. chevy

    Obama probably gainned support from bill attacks. THANK YOU FORMER FAVORITE PRESIDENT!

    January 26, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  7. No Dynasties

    There's been a Clinton or a Bush on the ballot since 1980.

    Isn't it time to put an end to the imperial dynasties and elect someone–anyone–else?

    January 26, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  8. J Rudolf

    The Clinton's tell no "half-truths" the don't say things that "are not supported by the fact" those are niceties. These people are ruthless liars who will do and say anything to gain power, absolutely anything.

    January 26, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  9. Jo Anne

    Rev. Kelpoitrine Jones, III, in my opinion let Hillary take her life's work to helping 3rd world nations to health care. I for one do not want a government controlled health care system. My gosh look at what they have done to Social Security!!! We are all paying into a black hole. The government sold every American a bill of goods saying that the system is sound and will be there when we retire.

    If you think that goverment controlled health care is the answer...I have two family members that have married into our family from England and they have said "You don't want that." If you think that your wait is long now in a doctor's office...just wait. My son-in-law has an Aunt that has cancer in England and is still waiting. If you have money to pay for private insurance it's not a problem. I could go on with a few more cases regarding dental, but I won't bore you. My OB/GYN from years ago came to the US from Canada to avoid the system they have there. I'm afraid that we will see a vast exit of good up and coming folks that want to be doctors.
    I feel that the answer is get rid of the lobbyists and get the costs under control that are bankrupting the system.

    January 26, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  10. fundysdotcom

    The people have spoken. Just say no to the negative garbage of the Clinton Camp. We have had it with the lies of our elected officials and want change. See ya Bush, See ya Clinton. Hello Obama.

    January 26, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  11. Mary

    What had a powerful effect on S.C. voters was the biased reporting and discussions on CNN. Congratulations CNN, you may have helped to choose the next president. If we have an event like 9-11 soon after inauguration of the president, and it is Obama, please be big enough to take responsibility for your part in this travesty.

    January 26, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  12. lefty

    enough of the clintons – bushes – romney – no more royal families

    January 26, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  13. J Rudolf

    The Clinton's tell no "half-truths" they don't say things that "are not supported by the facts" those are niceties. These people are ruthless liars who will do and say anything to gain power, absolutely anything.

    January 26, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  14. alexznam357

    I'm a lifelong Democrat and voted for Bill twice...I won't vote for Hillary. I've had enough of the race-bating, the lies, and the arrogance of these two. I have a bad feeling if Hillary makes it to the White House that it'll be more of the same skirt-chasing by Bill, and destruction of anyone who says anything about it. America is ready for Obama...he is the man we need to lead us out of the Bush mess.

    January 26, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  15. jerry

    the american people i think or the stupid people on earth
    if you vote with the right wing you fall in thair trap a vote for obama a man with no money . is the way the bush bunch wants mr. hillary will not be a puppet for the rich vote for mr. hillary and get the us back to work.

    January 26, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  16. Texas Annie, Plano, TX

    Since he left office, Bill has been fawned over by the international audiences he has pandered to. Although it is not reported prominently in the US press, he has been traveling the world making a lot of money bad mouthing the US in all of his foreign speeches, even blaming the country for "causing" 911. So it must come as a surprise to him that here at home we are no longer hanging on his every word and swooning at his feet. He brought in his crew to take over Hillary's campaign after Iowa, you know, Carville, et al – the thugs he relied on 16 years ago. But the bloom is off that rose, Billy! Too bad you can't get some more FBI files to blackmail Obama and the new crowd! As for me, I hope Hillary loses so bad she will never rear her ugly head again in ANY election!!

    January 26, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  17. Nick

    Regardless of who the Democratic candidate is in Nov, this lifelong Democrat will be voting Republican .

    January 26, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  18. Victoria

    Get Clinton off the air. I have had enough of his tactics. What a looser. If he thought to get his wife Hillery in the white house after what he did to our oval office ..... Give me a break. HILLery. Where were you when he was degrading the OVAL office of our great nation

    January 26, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  19. Larry from Purdue

    Obama is destroying the popular vote margin after 4 states.

    January 26, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  20. Yolanda Diaz

    Shame to have a president by that name sorry but .....

    January 26, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  21. Meme

    My husband and I agree with you.

    January 26, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  22. Mary

    Isn't it amazing. If your comment is pro Obama, it goes online. If it is pro Clinton, it doesn't. What else would we expect from CNN.

    January 26, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  23. maynard





    January 26, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  24. Farmer Steve

    What is really interesting to see is how many Democrats are finally turning against Bill and Hill. I see this in on blogsall over the left. Could it be that America has at last had its fill of them? They are too clever ( and venal) by half.
    I am not a Democrat but I must say that I could never vote for Hillary but I and many other independents could vote for Obama. Independents ALWAYS decide the election. If the Dems want to win, he is your only shot.

    January 26, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  25. Jerry

    Congratulations to Sen. Obama on his SC victory. As much as I like John Edwards, I believe that Barack Obama brings something to the table that is new and refreshing. (An Obama – Edwards ticket in November would be really interesting.)
    My biggest concern with Hillary Clinton all along has been her ability to unite – the Republican base. If anyone can get them all on the same page and out to vote in November, it's Hillary. I don't know why, but I have never seen the pure anger and hatred that comes out with just the mention of the name Clinton. Yes, they did go "just a bit" overboard in SC, but I still honestly believe that her chances in November would be hurt, anyway, if for no other reason than her name.

    January 26, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
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