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. Marj,Paso Robles, Cal

    Race and gender. Gotta love the Dems.

    January 27, 2008 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  2. igrmng777

    Democrats' primaries turned ugly!
    Obama plays a race card. He blamed Bill but he himself used Oprah who, I believe, could become first african american and a woman president. He used stupid populist Kerry and some other celebrety politicians and wasn't blamed for that, at all.
    No one pays attention what he really says. Pay attention! Pure marxist – populist. Americans do not familiar with such a phenomenon. Other nations got broken on it. He promises to take troops from Iraq and send them to Pakistan 140 mln. muslim country to chase Ben Laden somewhere. He promises to get government subsidized health care etc. and no one asks where he wants to get money to pay for all his promises.
    He brags he didn't vote forI raq war. It means he knew something important and didn't tell? Or he read same report as other senators and voted against his own country?

    Obama and Clintons look alike for me.

    Hillary has no real economy boost program and plays with promises. She wants to put lots of money on the market and break economy and loose the war. Her husband falling asleep ... where he is not supposed to.

    Edwards isn't bad but he is much less clown than previous two and it is the reason he doomed not to become a president.

    People are stupid and pick well acting manipulators. Politicians are smart they make money anyway.

    January 27, 2008 02:23 am at 2:23 am |

    "this is not about the next election, but the next generation.".......Bill get in the car, we are off to Tenn.

    January 27, 2008 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  4. Latino for Obama 08

    Latinos we are one nation, the United States of America Obama need your votes, lets unite.

    January 27, 2008 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  5. Helena Montana

    The Clintons have no one to blame but themselves for their South Carolina debacle.

    January 27, 2008 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  6. iluvusa

    U have to be a complete retard to vote for OBAMA. How can I express this perfect pathetic reason for us to speak out! First of all he has never answered a single question asked. Dodger FaN! LOL...Second he has NO experience. Then my favorite its all about RACE! Get over it, all people have suffered and continue to suffer! Hillary is the best and she were a man she would be leader of the FREE WORLD! HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT! SHe is a mother and only mothers care about people. What mother wouldn't want the best for our childrens future.

    January 27, 2008 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  7. James Brown ( Independent )

    I hope Bill does stay out there on the campaign trail because , everytime he opens his mouth , its another vote for real change. The American people want the "peoples" White House back.

    Yes we can !

    Obama 08

    January 27, 2008 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  8. EE

    This is why Obama won: Bill Clinton is the cankerworm in Hillary's campaign. He has become Trent Lott and is turning off alot of white support from Hillary to Obama. Many whites dont like Bills language of late. Bill is a big turn off. How many uneducated whites voters are there that Bill is trying to use this kind of language to appeal to. This election is not about race ,Its about issues americans care for. Obama seems to capture americans desire for UNITY in this country and Bill's message is totally the complete opposite. How many voters in america still love this kind of language from Bill? I doubt many. I will vote for anyone , anyday who UNITES us than vote for any "angel" who wants to tear us apart along racial lines. Moreso he/she aspiring to get to the white house. No to racism in the white house! Mrs Clinton, get rid of Bill, get rid of divisive politics, get rid of messages that try to appeal to the uneducated white haters.Get on the issues. As long as u stick to the race card, bait me your support among whites(majority of whom are college educated, mind you!) goes to an all low blue.

    January 27, 2008 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  9. katharine, Drammen, Norway

    Obama is the future of the Democratic Party and the future of America. After Bill Clinton's distateful tactics this past week it is obvious that the duo will only succeed in dividing, first, their party, and then the nation. With Bill overshadowing her campaign and her white house tenure, Hillary Clinton will never find a viable vice president, will disenfranchise independents and Republicans who would be willing to move toward the Democratic party, and lose a good many disgusted democrats as well, who have been posting on blogs throughout the nation that they will not, under any circumstances, vote for Hillary Clinton in any election. Clinton will lose handily to John McCain, who can beat her on experience, on patriotism, on the ability to be Comander in Chief, and more importantly, on the ability to draw from independents and the other party. Democrats vote for Hillary Clinton at their peril, and at the peril of our country.

    January 27, 2008 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  10. Ian

    I wonder if she'll tell Bill what she told Chelsea. Just sit there and look pretty.

    January 27, 2008 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  11. Allen Tennessee

    Obama is allowed to do what he wants and the press eats it up. I researched all three candidates and made an informed decision. Look closely as the man who shouts for change, and see if its a change for the better. I don't think so.

    Thanks Vivien in CA for some real insight that's missing on this board tonight.

    January 27, 2008 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  12. Michelle

    I’m an Australian, however I’m watching your elections with interest. As an outsider, this is what I see. Barak Obama has the best of 2 of 3 worlds. He is both black….AND white. The only part of the equation he can’t proclaim is “I am woman” The race card seeming to be played, really shouldn’t work, since he is completely both races. As far as his affinity to women is portrayed, he’s got that down pat. Women, black or white, would be drawn to him anyway due to his overall charisma of seemingly wanting to bring everyone together. The real currency underpinning the American election dilemma is trust. (trust in the elected, by the people who elect them) I hope whoever is elected, never betrays what the American public are starving for. Baraks blackness or whiteness should be immaterial. I find myself as a woman, admiring Hillary to the enth degree and yet, admiring Obama for what I consider to be an amazing opponent, to one who
    is well known to have ‘more experience’ in the world of politics. Best of luck to both of you, and even more luck to the American people whoever is elected. I would think though, if both Obama and Hillary actually joined forces and worked TOGETHER, more problems may be solved than each trying to cut the other down. I’m thinking people are sick of the rhetoric, they just want results that work.

    January 27, 2008 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  13. Nehemiah J

    I am glad that the people of South Carolina saw through Bill Clinton and I hope there response to him and his wife (voting for Obama) sends this message to the country: We do not need another person in the White House that will keep this country divided – we need someone that can bring this country back together so that we can conquer everything that ills this country!!!

    January 27, 2008 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  14. Billie

    I'm so sick and tired of the media making this race about RACE. Obama would have won South Carolona no matter what. Your exit polls showed that blacks are voting for him. I'd like someone to watch an episode of The View. Colin Powell was on the show, talking about MLK holiday. He said just about word for word what Hillary Clinton said when she referred to King and President Johnson. Why was such a big deal made of it when she said it? Please take a look at the show.

    January 27, 2008 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  15. Kara



    January 27, 2008 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  16. tim

    How many lies did he tell during his presidency? Can you tell the diffrence between those lies and this ones now?

    January 27, 2008 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  17. Sharon C. from West Virginia

    I am praying that Barrack Obama wins the presidency of the United States because of what he represents. While I have little illusion that any one individual can stop this downhill train wreck that has become our country, I believe that he understands what more of us are facing daily then do the other professional politicians. He is the child of a single parent. He is a child of divorce. He is both black and white. He knows what it feels like to turn to drugs during a troubled youth and finding a way out with education and focus. He knows what it's like to be faced with the crushing burden of a student loan (that only a best selling book could get him out of). Obama is you and me with an eloquent voice. I believe that he is the balance of heart and mind that America desperately needs to heal. He has my vote and my prayers.

    January 27, 2008 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  18. Casey, Orlando, Florida

    I am glad that Obama won the primary last night. Go Obama! That showed the Clintons that there are not supposed to have two people other than John Edwards against Obama. Go home, Bill. It is time for Bill to go home in New York and play golf or do the public services with George H.W. Bush, like Hurricane Katrina.

    January 27, 2008 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  19. Casey, Orlando, Florida

    Go home, Bill!

    January 27, 2008 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  20. Marcus, Independence MO

    The funny thing here is that Clinton fans are like die hard Bush fans no matter what the results they spin them. Obama now leads Clinton by about 100,000 votes and 10 pledged delegates. It looks as if the Clinton supporters are a growing minority and not majority. What are you Clintionites looking at?? This wasn't even close and it spanned over many demographics. I think you Clinton fans might want to take a long hiadus from this post board. Because none of Hillary's victories were to the tune of +100,000 votes. And exit polls indicated 70% of blacks and 68% of whites blamed the Clintons. So I guess you guys are that 32% that always chooses to ignore the obvisous facts.

    January 27, 2008 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  21. Mitt

    I agree .. the race card suddenly came to play right before SC primary (where 55% of voters are black) .

    That remind me of how Goerge W Bush won in 2000 .. MaCain was a better cadidate than him , and Al Gore was much better president ... but Bush prove before our own eyes that emotions and the media overcome logic and common sense

    January 27, 2008 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  22. Helen

    Michelle Obama can make a statement like { blacks better open there eyes } what would the media do if Bill or Hillary or John Edwards made such a statement like that?How can anyone run aginst someone like this if you can't even speak his name without it being about race .I'm not suprised this is happening ,but i am dispointed are the double standerds
    CNN i guess since this a obama love feast this will get lost. obama needs to also thank the media

    January 27, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  23. GLENDA Hudson ,Fl

    GO HILLARY!!!!
    Hillary will win on Feb. 5th. She is the only candidate on the Arm Services committee and will certainly be the only one qualified to run against John McCain.
    If Barack is nominated the Democrates will lose the White House again.
    Weak-Up America. South Carolina is color-blind.
    Barack is an evangilistic preacher/speaker but he is not qualified to lead this
    country. He gives no specifics. At this point he is an Empty Suit.

    Vote of Hillary now!!!!

    January 27, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  24. Alecki

    CNN's columist coverage of the candiates needs to bereviewed. It apparently seems that CNN reporters opinions matter first. This isn't reporting the news. It's opinions that are miscontrued by commentators.

    We need reporting on the news without the bias.

    It"s unfair to the American people.

    January 27, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  25. Nathan M. Dyersburg, Tn

    Hillary and Bill are a disgrace to this country. The whole nation is sick of them and their lies. Good show of Hillary dumping her supporting cast in S.C. to run off to Tenn .and not adress her helpers. She's in for a surprise too in Tenn. Why don't she take on Obama by herself and and be really killed. Enough is enough

    January 27, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
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