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. Fran Martin

    A great victory for Obama translates into a stinging slap in the face to the "frumpy frau" half of the "pudgy pair" from Arkansas.

    January 26, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  2. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    SC is one of 50 States, not so fast, American voters are smarter than Obama.
    Hillary is ready to lead from the day one without job training. Hillary will win.
    Go Hillary.

    January 26, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  3. Courtney S.

    Ahh.... I want to jump up and down and sing...but NOT too fast. REMEMBER New Hampshire....

    KEEP talking Clintons, KEEP attaching, And AMERICA keep the movement going, change comes from the group up, let us show them all WE want change!


    OBAMA 2008!

    January 26, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  4. Ken Ormston Madison Heights VA

    I am a 77 white male and also a Republican and this is my read on the Democratic nomination. In my whole life I don't think I haver ever seen more than 3 or 4 politicians with the honesty and charistma of Obama. He fought BOTH the Clintons at once, fending off their lies and innuendo's and he did it with dignity. In other words EXACTLY what I want in a President. I will cross party lines and vote for him.

    January 26, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  5. marty scanlan

    When all the candidates' positions are parsed and compared, when all the candidates' snipes are either applauded or condemned, when all the pundits have had their say, when all the polls are toted up...for me, it comes down to being moved and held spellbound by an incredibly inspirational speech by Obama, who rivals the oratory skills of William Jennings Bryan. This guy simply has an indefinable quality that I find irresistable.

    January 26, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  6. Joan

    I think the State of Illinois has given us another Lincoln. Barack Obama has the character to inspire a sense of universal responsibility in all of us. He's right...we are our brother and our sister's keeper. We must all stand together now...black, white, Hispanic, Asian. We are one people and together, we're going to make this a better world.

    January 26, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  7. Matt Weiss

    Don't be hard on Jim Car Ville. He's joking, using, with mild modifications, the name of Bill's old political strategist as an alias.

    January 26, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  8. Joan

    January 26, 2008 9:48 pm ET

    I think the State of Illinois has given us another Lincoln. Barack Obama has the character to inspire a sense of universal responsibility in all of us. He's right…we are our brother and our sister's keeper. We must all stand together now…black, white, Hispanic, Asian. We are one people and together, we're going to make this a better world.

    January 26, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  9. Ben

    Bill, please don't stop running your mouth filled with lies and half truths. Keep up the good work. Keep hurting your wife's chances.

    January 26, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  10. twin

    The Clintons' aren't hurting anyone but themselves with their ignorant comments! Their use of dirty politics is exactly what Barack has been talking about wanting to change for a while now. Barack wants to unify both the Rep and Dem parties, and seems to be the only canidate that would be able to do so. The Clintons' on the other hand are showing that their willing to destroy their own party just to win. They are more concerned about thier own status, as oppose to what the people really want, which is change.

    January 26, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  11. Chad

    Hey Bill, you're not running!!! I am sick of hearing Bill campaigning for a vote for "us", and Hillary talking about what "they" did when Bill was President.

    Hillary needs to stand on her own two feet and compete as an individual.

    January 26, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  12. Zach

    Husband and wife to run our country like their poppy house-give me break. Enough!!! Clintons.

    January 26, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  13. jim car ville

    I demand a recount. There's no way Hillary could lose.

    January 26, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  14. Carol

    We don't need another four year of the Clintons. What you see is what you get. I have never seen such mean people. Now that they turned on fellow Democrats, maybe people will see why so many Congressman are afraid to disagree. I bet they have a file on everyone that can be used in one minute. I will not vote for Hillary. If she gets the nomination, the Republicans or a third party will get my vote.

    January 26, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  15. tina, minnesota

    The tactics were terrible. It was difficult to listen to all the fuss. However, I think that the visionary speeches of Obama should be peppered with speeches that contain more specifics. I am poor, white, female from Rural Michigan, Democrat my whole life. I listened to Bill Clinton's speech given tonight in Independence, Missouri . His style and the specifics of what he talked about are what Democrats want to hear. Their differences (between Clinton and Obama) do not seem too different. Obama needs to take his specifics and start giving a similar speech to what Bill gave tonight. It could move even more Americans toward Obama. I am listening to Hillary now as she speaks in Tenessee and she is using numbers. She sounds a bit more specific evening if she is not specific (She is basically saying what she wants to do – just not how).

    January 26, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  16. Rob G.

    Any americans, dem's or rep's who beleve either Clinton in the white house is a good idea again belong to the sheep culture of people who read only headlines and are lead around by the media. Try to dig deep into there past to see if you can without a doubt come up with anything they really did to help this country. I voted for Bill Clinton the first time and beleve he had a chance to be a great president instead his legacy is a complete misuse of his office. Go ahead and claim the economy of the 90's and you would be wrong it does'nt take rocket science to see the previous president policies set off the 90's and Bill Clinton ran with it. Now he wants his wife to be the leader of the free world. What has hillary done ? She says she has 25 plus years in politics. Maybe as Bills wife but other wise she has only a few years as a senator. She has rode Bill Clintons coattails from day one. Making Hillary Clinton president would be like having a brain surgeons wife operate on you because she been his wife for 25 years. I have no doubt Hillary Clinton has had her eye on the office from day one but the real question is what has she done to earn such office. Even now she has Bill talking for her. Who would be up for the Vice presidentcy ? Will he matter with Bill & Hillary in office together. Look what happend to Al Gore. If Bill & Hillary would of campained for Al Gore he would have won but The Clintons were setting themselfs up for a 2008 run. The Clintons and the Bushes should go away this country needs a new start. Does anyone really want 4 years of the network news doing battle over TV ratings like hollywood mags looking into the life of a spoiled rich celebrity . People need to vote not on headlines but on statemenship, abilty and honesty. Now who do you choose from todays candidates. Who ever it is it is your duty to look to see what the candidate has accomplished.

    January 26, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  17. Obama likes square dancing

    I am proud of Obama. But I am not proud that 80% of african americans voted for him. No. Its not good for the country.

    John Edwards was the only candidate from South Carolina, and he only got 3% of the black vote. I dont feel good about that.

    January 26, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  18. Joseph Back

    I can't vote for an abortion supporter or I would cross over. He is the stronger Democrat.

    January 26, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  19. Zach

    This guy's speech reminds me of John F. Kennedy and Ron Reagan--very eloquent and promising. He speaks like us and behaviors like us. Yes! he can.
    Husband and wife will never run our country like private poppy house. Enough!!!

    January 26, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  20. Marcia, AZ

    Where is the 'shocker'? The margin, unexpected, but not the win..but not a lot of difference between this and Jesse Jacksons win in SC in the '80's. It is a red state, not worth much overall. Caroline Kennedy is an extreme disappointment...is she Ted's silent endorsement? I guess I'd better brace myself for a week of Jesse and Al lectures...uuuuugh....that's a whole lot worse than listening to Bill could ever be. So, the only question in my mind now is this: Will the Resko trash blow up before or after the Primary? I can't tolerate another Republican in the White House.

    January 26, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  21. Claude

    Bill hurry up already!!!! We lost and we need to get the bus into Tennessee.!!!!

    January 26, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  22. Ed

    Thank You South Carolina ! ! ! Hillary is running in '08 on "change and experience” as she was the former First Lady. Does that mean that Chelsea Clinton will run in '16 on "change and experience" as a 2x First Daughter? Kinda beginning to sound like a monarchy. Do your research. Get Informed, Stay Involved, and Free Yourself ! ! !

    January 26, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  23. Carol

    Obama proved he is the better man by the speech he made tonight. As Caroline Kennedy said in her NYT op-ed piece, this is the first time people my age (45) will have the opportunity to vote for a man who reminds them of her father. Bill Clinton looks petty, small and like a complete narcissist. This is about the future, not the past. Get over yourselves, Billary...it's a new millenium.

    January 26, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  24. michael lewis

    I bet ole slick willie is sleeping on the couch tonight..

    January 26, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  25. Jim in Orlando, FL

    Hey, how come in the picture Bill Clinton looks like some over-the-hill(ary) ex-president with no legacy old-sot who can no longer attract the interns who come to work wearing knee pads ? Truth in advertizing ? Finally !

    January 26, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
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