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. DT

    Sorry- "...to happen."

    January 26, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  2. Sara in CA

    Bill was so good at alienating potential SC voters that I started wondering if he wasn't secretly hired by Obama's campaign!

    Let the truth shine through. It's good to see Hillary for what she is: a so-called feminist who sadly is still overshadowed and hyperdependent on her husband to manage her ridiculous campaign. That is not the sort of woman I want for the first female president of the United States.

    January 26, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  3. clusiana

    I Love this. Don't live in SC. Am European American (white). I would have voted for Barak because of what Billy Boy and HillBilly did...run their stupid mouths, calling the race card and just generally being their disagreeable selves. Do people want them in the WH for 4-8 years? Again? No.

    January 26, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  4. Jim in Orlando, FL

    Obama's projected 10-12 point win will end up being double that ! Thanks Bill ! BTW Bill, can you hit the trail in CA ? Obama needs your help there too ! Bill Clinton, the gift that keeps giving !

    January 26, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  5. Sparkey

    People are finally figuring out that they really don't want Bubba back in the White House. Especially with time on his hands............

    January 26, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  6. Darrel

    Bye bye Billary. Your ugly campaign methods ensured your defeat. Did you plan this loss on purpose to generate a white racist vote backlash in the rest of the deep south? Nahh – even Billary wouldn't stoop that low, would it/they?

    January 26, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  7. Bill Davis

    Jim Car Ville has gotta be right... And I am certain it was mean spirited Republicans (from the decade of greed) who worked with Obama and those crooks at Diebold voting machines to pull this fraud off... BTW, I hope Obama beats the pants off them all, and I haven't voted Democrat since HHH in 68!

    January 26, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  8. Barry

    I think John Edwards is the most qualified, and the best candidate, but I know he doesn't have a chance to win. Sen. Edwards speaks to all Americans, and he has the best chance to beat any of the Repiblicans. That being said I hope he stays in there all the way. If not well Obama has my vote.

    January 26, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  9. Mike

    Bill needs some more interns taking care of him cause he is making a fool of himself out there. Blacks must've gotten mad at him also for sleeping on MLK!!

    January 26, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  10. Jim

    Will you guys please stop it. Obama got less than 1000 votes in Iowa and if he were White he would have been marginalized. The only reason he won South Carolina is that there are so many Blacks in SC. Now if the state had a majority White population Obama would lose. Can't you folks at CNN see that the country is divided by race? Can't you just leave the meddling alone and let these guys fight it out and see who wins?

    January 26, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  11. Dee, New Jersey

    Why is CNN taking such a long time to post my comments? Is it because my comments are in support for Senator Clinton?

    January 26, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. lemuel66

    The "cares about people" slot will never go to the silver spoon when someone from a poorer background is compared. You have to have been there to know how to care and more people have been there or have relatives that are there and so connection is there than there are those silver spoon backgrounds.

    January 26, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  13. D

    Anyone else think that it's odd that the first public statement released after Hillary's loss in South Carolina is FROM BILL CLINTON INSTEAD OF HILLARY???

    This is very odd...maybe he is running for a 3rd term...

    Where is the leadership from Hillary? How sad...

    January 26, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. sharon Roberts

    Bill and Hillary are only in the race for themselves, not the people of this country. Make no mistake- "if" she wins the election she will blame all her misteps on the former administrations. Bill will be loose in the White House and helping her run the show. Frankly, I am praying for Obama to win over Hillary as she is NOT to be trusted. I think Bill is helping her so she won't write a tell all book about him and so he is back in the limelight. She has many, many things to tell about him I am sure. Who will really be president Bill or Hillary? Go Obama!!!

    January 26, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  15. Karen, Jersey City

    The 'Flying Liar and Hidden Dragon' is on their way to make up more lies to the American people across the United States. Hopefully they saw the Bill and Hillary circus show in SC and wake up!

    January 26, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  16. Jane

    I always liked Bill, but what I saw in SC peeled my eyelids way back. As a woman, Hillary needs to run for herself and her ideas, or it's no great movement forward for women. She obviously can't control him - not a good thing. I have been waiting nearly eight years to get a Democrat back in the White House, but if she is the nominee, I will be voting Republican for the first time in 20 years, no matter who the Republican candidate might be. And I don't think I am alone in the Democratic party.

    January 26, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  17. Beth, Seattle WA

    I think the Clinton era is over. They started trying to pull Obama into the kind of politics they do best, which I too would have thought was a good decision, until it apparently backfired. The real story... what effect does this have on super tuesday?

    January 26, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  18. PW Va

    This oaf (former Pres. Clinton) was not even gracious enough to congratulate Senator Obama properly. He glossed over it very quickly and then went on to promote the Hilderbeast.

    January 26, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  19. Jimmy

    I think the Clinton's culture of lies have finally caught up with them. I can't remeber a former President acting more "Un- Presidential" before as he hammers away at someone from his own political party. It makes one wonder how far the Clintons will go to suit their own agenda.

    January 26, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  20. Karen, Jersey City

    Oh I forgot to add....

    Thanks Bill ! You served your purpose well...

    January 26, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  21. Tom

    With President Bill Clinton's definition of sex, inhalation of drugs and nearly being impeached while being the President – President Bill Clinton is a liability for Senator Hillary Clinton. Therefor, her abilities, intentions and her statements become questionable even though she might make a capable President.

    January 26, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  22. CAROLE


    January 26, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  23. Chad

    Who is running for president, Hillary or Bill?
    He's doing the speech on the night of the SC primary! What is going on?
    I thought she was supposed to be running, not him.

    January 26, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  24. Sandra

    I was all in favor of Hillary Clinton because of her intelligence, experience, and the fact that I believe Bill did not really have a chance to lead during his presidency.
    However; I am changing my mind. If she and her advisers cannot get Bill to listen to them now during the campaign, what luck will they have if she becomes President? I do not want Bill to become President again – and I am not certain that Hillary can keep him from believing and acting as he is. Any more than his advisers could keep him from doing politically foolish things when he was President.

    Sorry, Hillary, I thought you would make a good President.

    January 26, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  25. Auntie Coosa, Blairsville, Georgia, USofA

    Bill looked petty and tacky and said petty and tacky things; ergo, Bill is petty and tacky.

    Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

    Hillary, however, doesn't answer questions she doesn't want to answer. It appears she either has nothing to say or doesn't want people to know what she believes. The only treasure in Hillary's heart is promoting herself without demonstrating what she truly believes. Or maybe she has no substance at all, other than having been the wife of a pandering President and 'standing by her man.'

    January 26, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
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