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. Flem

    Finally people are allowing themselves to wake up and see the Clintons for the lying liars they really are. Hillary as president would be a disgrace to our great country.

    GO OBAMA!!!


    January 27, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  2. Nana Jones

    It is okay for Michelle and Barack Obama to play the race card. It is okay for them to say what they like. Hillary be careful what you say you are running against a black and you know they like special treatment. As for the press everybody with half a brain can see how unfair Hillary has been treated. Obama supporters dont get too carried away about SC its not over

    January 27, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  3. John

    I hope the American people are starting to see how corrupt and disgusting the Clinton's are. I hope they can see that they will do anything, and I mean anything, to be in power. The citizens do not matter it is the power that they want and that is the bottom line. We do not need them back in the White House. Stop the insanity. No more Bush, no more Clinton and while we are at it no more Kennedy.

    January 27, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  4. wild schield

    for all of bill bluster and hand holding of hillary it still didnt get CAROLINE KENNEDYS ENDORSEMENT she ENDORSES OBAMA which means more to the american people than any newspaper or politician.

    January 27, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  5. Mary, NYC

    The Clintons make me barf. Now, Bill is still playing the race card.... suggesting this morning that Sen. Obama's success is just like Jesse Jackson's. How pathetic! I hope Americans see the Clintons for who they really are- phonies. Bill's time has past and he is slowly destroying his legacy– what's left of it.

    The last eight years have been awful. It pains me everyday to see Bush moving our country backwards. Sen. Obama will bring integrity, honesty, hope and inspiration to the White House. I believe in America and I believe we can make positive changes with Sen. Obama leading the way.

    Obama 08!

    January 27, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  6. sarah, El Paso TX

    The clintons wanted to make this about race in SC so that when he wins people can say it is because he was black –shame shame. Bill clinton also said "Jessie Jackson won that state also" ...humm

    January 27, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  7. Dan, NJ

    The people of S.C. roundly rebuked the dirty politics Hillary so fondly referred to as "the fun part." Expect yet another shift in tactics from the Clintons... react to polls and smear your opponents. Not exactly what I want out of a President.

    January 27, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  8. Ronnie

    Bill Clinton lost SC for Hillary, and his presence will continue to negatively affect any hope she has of becoming the Democratic nominee. It has become all too evident that Bill intends to share the Presidency if he gets the chance. Not a good thing for the country.
    Obama's hope and energy are like a breath of fresh air - something we all need after the disastrous bush years.

    January 27, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  9. Rayan

    My suggestion to President Bill Clinton is not to go around and create controversy.Leave Senator Clinton alone and she will succeed if she can prove herself to be superior to Senator Obama.
    President Clinton should be a backstage director and not a main actor.

    January 27, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  10. Lorna

    The uninformed portion of our country is traditionally the downfall in the insanity in politics. I am continually amazed at the amount of voters (especially the younger voters) who are looking at Hillary for a change in this country. Bill Clinton initiated the greatest amount of "change" when he signed in NAFTA – he RUINED our economy! There is no doubt in my mind that he signed in NAFTA only as payback to the wealthy that got him into office and would become even richer by that signature.

    I am originally from Michigan – moving after losing our jobs because of NAFTA. Most of our friends and families have either lost their jobs or living on the edge – directly due to NAFTA! Now Hilliary wants to open more trade agreements with two third world countries – both of which have deplorable sweatshops employing mainly children. Both countries will no doubt sell to Walmart of which SHE sat on the board!!! Again – the RICH GETTING RICHER!

    PLEASE, PLEASE AMERICANS – do whatever it takes to inform yourselves of the facts before jumping in to vote on candidates that have PROVEN THEMSELVES TO BE SELF-SERVING.

    January 27, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  11. Ex- auto worker

    Hey Bill,
    I think I might be getting one of those " service jobs " you talked about after you signed NAFTA into effect. I could become the next greeter at Wallmart, Would it be possiible for Hillary to put in a good word for me?

    January 27, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. ABC-anyone but clinton

    Gotta be voter fraud. Has to be.


    Hahahahaha.....Not even close!

    Slick Willy needs to shut his big mouth as his negative attacks on Obama have backfired big time. Who's crying now? O yeah, Hillary's already done that in NH.

    OBAMA 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 27, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. tollly

    Who does Bill Clinton think he is? You don't question Obamas record, words, programs, and motivation. If you're against Obama then you are a racist!

    January 27, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. yasmin

    Well Hillary is now officially Billary!

    January 27, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. Jim

    If Hillary couldn't fix Bill, how will she ever fix the country???????????

    January 27, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  16. AlwaysforHillary, NYC

    Hillary Clinton is the candidate who should and WILL be the Democratic nominee and ultimately be elected president next November. Obama won South Carolina because half of the voters are black, That;s the FACT plain and simple.

    January 27, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. Lydia

    Vivien, Vivien, Vivien...come on now.

    Everyone knows Obama has been campaigning against Billary who are running as co-presidents.

    Michelle responding to the lies from the Billary camp about her husband is NOT playing the race card. It's trying to keep Billary from derailing her husband's campaign.

    Besides, let's be honest here. Comments from Bill as a former president carry a much bitter sting than anything Michelle could say in her husband's defense.

    January 27, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. Jen

    Bill Clinton is a very very angry man, you could see it in his face, his finger pointing and his tone of voice.

    Hillary's run for presidency isn't about the people of this country.
    Hillary's run for presidency is about revenge to the Republicans and the Independents and the Democrats that didn't want anything to do with him in his last couple of years in office.
    All due to his poor choices to lie, cheat, play with a 21 yr old government paid intern, that all caught up to him.

    Obama can freshen our country and bring us back together.
    He is not running for revenge ad Bill and Hillary are.
    He is running FOR OUR COUNTRY!

    Spread the word to those who aren't on these blogs. Help bring us back together! The Clintons would keep this anger and hatefulness alive just for payback. How pathetic and selfish!

    Congrats Obama on a fantastic win in SC!

    January 27, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  19. David

    Bill shouldn't even be involved its not a tag team match

    January 27, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. Jane

    What Hillary C. needs to realize is that if she is the Democratic nominee she is going to want the support of voters who would otherwise choose Obama. I can only speak for myself and say she has totally lost that support with her and Bill's finger pointing and nasty accusations. I'll either vote for Mccain or write in a candidate.

    January 27, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. Danny

    Wait !!! Don't figure Bill and Hillary out until she gets the nomination! We want you dems to run Hitlery Clinton. She has that whole "It takes a village" social insurance package program just waiting on you all! There is rainbow stew and free bubble up just waiting on all you Clinton supporters and all you have to do is drink the Koolaid! I forget what it was but don't forget that Obama did something wrong in kindergarten! Don't go yet!! Come back!!!!!!!


    January 27, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. Hill is Prez

    Don't worry Hillary, there are a lot of more evolved voters out there who are eager to put you in White House!
    I like the idea of Bill supporting you all the way.
    To all the biased pundits: I don't care what you say but Hillary is President!

    January 27, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  23. carol stanton

    Hellow my fellow Americans, how better off where you when BILL was President.
    The Economy now stinks; you best learn from these last mistakes made by replublicans...we will not have a second chance....most likely.

    My vote is for Hillary Clinton; as far as the mud slinging watch the first debate and you will see who started all this, Obama and John

    January 27, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. kinnick

    and why is oprah and her backing getting off scott free too??

    I agree the media has a lovefest with obama and don't think other voters aren't noticing this one sided coverage.

    January 27, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. marc from indiana

    Bill is right. BO is a fairy tale. Most of his so called experience was as a state senator, which is not even a full time job in most states. He is an empty suit. Hillary ran this country for 8 years. She has the right experience.

    January 27, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
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