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. jim car ville

    Gotta be voter fraud. Has to be.

    January 26, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. Mike Allen

    No doubt about it. Billary Clintons negative and racially charged attacks against Obama are having an anti Clinton backlash as well they should. Clintons house boy Andrew Young brags that Clinton is blacker than Obama because he has slept with more black women. Thank GOD african americans are sophisticated enough to be disgusted that Bill clintons percieved blackness based on adulteress relations with black women is an insult not a badge of honor. Sure Clinton was happy to take advantage of black women and both of the Clintons are happy to take advantage of black voters but the Clintons obvious disgust with Obamas shows their true racist feelings.

    January 26, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. M. Fisher, Columbus, OH

    Bill Clinton should stay out of the campaign except to say he supports his wife. He should not be making statements against other candidates and should not be the person making policy statements regarding Hilary's positions. She is the one running for President and she should be the person we see speaking on issues. We have had Bill as the President and it is not his place to be running again. Leave the real campaigning to the person asking for our vote.

    January 26, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  4. Bonjeur

    If I were in SC, I would have voted for Obama. If found Former President Bill Clinton to be very Un-Statesman like. Birds of a feather flock together, meaning Hillary. I think it's time NOT to send another Clinton, or Bush for that matter, back in the Whitehouse. This country needs a fresh start. Like Hillary said; I don't want to go backwards.

    January 26, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. Donald

    I presently live in Atlanta, but was born a raised in Charleston. Please stop labeling Obama as a "black presidential candiate"; he won over 25 per cent of the white voters in this primary! Hillary has a huge problem now because Obama is not going away, states she thought were in her corner are now not so safe for her to win. Yes, the states coming up have large Hispanic populations, but Obama will be ok if he keeps on his message of change and hope. I was going for Clintion initally, but I'm solidly in Obama's corner because he, not Clinton can effect real change. Hillary is in SERIOUS trouble!

    January 26, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  6. Adam

    Bill needs to go away. His half truths have brought shame on his self for long enough.

    January 26, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  7. Jerry Pomeroy

    Is it possible that a majority of Americans are finally learning what the Clintons are all about? Better way late than never.

    January 26, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  8. Raj Michael

    Politics = trench warfare.
    All you have to look back at Bush vs. McCain in South Carolina in 2000.

    January 26, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  9. Paul

    We're tired, Bill. So very tired.

    January 26, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. crionics

    Where is South Carolina?

    January 26, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. mr.fair tax


    January 26, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  12. Veronica

    I would really like it if the media were more balanced. There are some very troubling studies out there about this campaign. So many of us rely on the information the media give us. I listened to the video posted of the exchange between Bill Clinton and the CNN reporter, and had a very, very different sense of it than was reported.

    January 26, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  13. Sean, Detroit, MI

    I think Jerry Pomeroy is spot on. We're starting to see just how deceitful and generally full of s@(% these two Clintons are...

    January 26, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  14. Tyler in Raleigh

    Willy said it best when he said that he thought "he (Obama) was running against me".

    WILLY THINKS HE IS THE ONE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT!!!! He doesnt get it, this is not about him. GET LOST BILL CLINTON!!!

    I would have more respect for Hillary if it was not for him. Your lies and scandals have tarnished the US enough. You were the start of our downfall as a country, Bush merely bought us to rock bottom.

    Now its time to climb out of this mess, and Hillbilly are not the ones to do this. Maybe Obama, maybe McCain or Romney.... but not the Clintons, they are only a step back.

    January 26, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. Alani Kuye

    lets keep our eyes open and our ears to the ground. This gets even more interesting.


    January 26, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  16. Joe

    This is SC, the Clintons Feb 5th, and then te reality for Obama will set in. His nation poll #'s suck and this victory will just hurt him.

    January 26, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  17. george\ia

    Man we can hope so can't we Jerry Pomeroy? In your face Billary. Go Obama!

    January 26, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  18. Chevyk

    The light is shining upon the clinton masterpiece, but i guess it cant be a masterpiece if isnt working can it? aahahah america is seeing what deceipt politician s the clintons are and the true gentlemen Obama is.

    January 26, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  19. Brandy, NJ

    Congrats CNN ... you said it.

    Late deciding voters made their decision in the past three days, when coverage of Bill Clinton ... or should I say the over-analyzed, over-dramatized, and exagerated coverage of Bill Clinton was at its height, PRIMARILY on CNN.

    Good job CNN, I hope you are patting yourselves on the back for a campaign attack well ran. You did an amazing job with your intellectual, factual, news reporting. This is brilliant for Obama and Edwards ... you attack Bill and Hillary ... give them negative coverage ... and they don't have to spend a dime ... you did all the work for them.

    Hats of to CNN's campaign attack 08

    January 26, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  20. arlene

    Fool some of the people all the time, all of the people some of the time, clintons trying next concept.

    January 26, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  21. YFS

    The best thing Hillary Clinton can do now is call herself Billary – she just can fight her own battles – she needs her husband to it for her!

    January 26, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  22. Steve Jay

    As I expected ... racism has won the day. It was obvious that SC would choose Obama, I just hope for the sake of the country, that Florida and the rest of the country vote on merit, experience, and who can bring about change, rather than voting for someone because of the colour of their skin.

    Very disappointed with SC today.

    January 26, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  23. Olawale Akande

    I thought about this last night and sincerely felt Bill is doing more harm than good for Hillary's campaign.

    January 26, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  24. eric


    January 26, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. Bayousara

    Hillary, you need to rein in your hubby or not only will YOU not win, Obama might lose out to McCain.

    People have said it over and over and over again!

    We HATE the negative stuff, and yet you all (Clinton and Obama both) keep on doin' it!

    I am OUT HERE, and I am totally sick of it! And I am a far left liberal.

    I would never vote for a Republican, but I might not vote AT ALL!

    My point is that if these two can't get along while in the same party, how in heck are they going to get along with members of Congress???? And get anything done?????

    January 26, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
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