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. v.ananthan

    .OBAMA would have won South Carolina anyway..

    January 26, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  2. AnnAloha, PA Independent Thinker

    I'm surpised that the media is so anti-Clinton.
    I know Tim Russett has always been, but CNN?
    Shame on you

    January 26, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  3. Susan NH

    BILL is giving Hillary's concession speech?!

    (This certainly lends credence to Obama's feeling that he has been running against both Clintons.)

    January 26, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  4. Brainee67

    I agree with Bonjeur. Clinton is very unstatesman like. But Jim Car Ville, I hope your joking with regards to "VOTER FRAUD." Why is it, whenever a democrat loses, it must be that? Could it be people are tired of Clinton's or Bush's in the White House?

    January 26, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  5. The Observer

    Obama appears to have won this battle but he will lose the war.

    He's behind in most other states except Georgia – I wonder why?

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

    Bill Clinton is a smart enough politician to understand the potential effects his recent antics could have on his wife's campaign. He knows race politics on a deeper level than most politicians and strategists. Sometimes I wonder he's doing this stuff on purpose. Sometimes I think that deep down inside he doesn't want Hillary to win. They seem to have the window dressing of a supportive couple, but it's always seemed like such an act to me. Maybe this is payday for a wife who's stood by his side so she could benefit from his political talent?

    January 26, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  7. morgan ehana

    why do we like talking negative about bill clinton.why is it everything about the clintons so.never write them off.you all did the same before,but they came back.

    January 26, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  8. Peggy

    Obama is truly a breath of fresh air compared to the old school politics that the Clinton's are banking on! Everybody take a deep breath and don't give up on the REAL campaign that represents a change in politics as we know it- Go OBAMA!

    January 26, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  9. J. Dean

    Good for Barack – keep it up, we need you!

    January 26, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  10. Tim

    Keep talkin' Bill!

    No voter fraud here, Jim. Time for change. People are starting to wake up.

    Obama 08'!

    January 26, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. jlunz

    Bill knows the strategy he is using and it will ultimately put Hillary in the White House, Obama is falling into the soup.......

    January 26, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  12. Nicholas Duckworth

    Clintons attacks are part of the politics of the past it's time to move forward into the future, and that future will be America with Obama at the helm leading the change. I hope the Clintons stop smearing and play a strait up race from here on out.

    Obama 08

    January 26, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  13. MAAR


    January 26, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  14. Mike, Conway, AR

    Get Bill off the campaign trail. He's losing this for Hillary. He made it even worse today, trying to diminish Obama's win by saying Jesse Jackson won there too. Why did he say Jesse? He could have used John Edwards as a better example.

    January 26, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  15. mike

    It is better now than later on the general election. Bill's effect will let a democrate to pick a stronger candidate to win on November.

    January 26, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  16. joe

    Its a shame for Bill he should rethink on his stratergies.
    its not work with the voters

    January 26, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  17. Sha

    I'm confused is Bill running for President or is Hillary running for president? Why is it that he is in the news more than she? I most certainly don't wanted to vote for someone who can't handle her own campaign.

    January 26, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  18. Tobias2012

    Blow out by Obama and one more step to the day in which the Clintons will just go away, imagine a wonderful day when Hillary's face and that voice will just be out of the picture Nice.

    January 26, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  19. Chibuzor

    Behold! It is as clear as the day light that the Clintons do not actually care for the people they claim to be fighting for. That she was not able to stay in order to say "thank you" to the people supporting her is indeed a sign that she is only interested in winning the votes and not interested in the affairs of the ordinary people.

    January 26, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  20. Rick

    What's interesting is that Barack was predicted to win New Hampshire by 9 points and lost by 2 points. Going into South Carolina he was projected to win by 12-15 points and he is actually winning by 25 points. People are making this election interesting.

    January 26, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  21. Tracy

    I love Obama's quote at the end of the read, ..."he will be ready for the republicans". hehehe thats funny but true.

    Americans, will should be tried of "dynasties" in the White House...The Bushes, The Clintons, The Bushes...and may God forbid its the Clintons again.

    If Hillary Clintons wins, America is not a democracy.

    January 26, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  22. Alice

    I am glad that the voters of South Carolina had the good sense to reject the Clinton's campaign strategy. Rock on citizens of the Palmetto State!!!!

    January 26, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |

    In America, when one is looking for a job, experience matters a lot. I wonder why when it comes to selecting a president, it becomes a liability. We want a fresh start does not mean we should eliminate those with wisdom. That will lead us to another Bush situation. Be careful!!!

    January 26, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  24. Damien

    I agree totally with Jerry Pomeroy, Bonjeur and Adam. It was kind of weird in the last few days upto the SC primary to watch FORMER president Clinton ging over the top about what HE did during his presidency. Hasn't he got it yet that THIS race is not about HIM? If Senator Clinton needs to add her husband's resume to her own in order to prove that she is the most suitable nominee for the party, I think they both are taking the voters' intelligence level very lightly. Hope the whole country awakens to the fact that the USA needs a NEW hope, not some form of a mutation of the past.

    January 26, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  25. Bob

    Bill and Hillary both made fools of themselves here. They ran with aggressive and divisive negative campaigning, and thankfully, voters of all races saw through it. I think that the country should be taking note of how polarizing the Clintons are, and thinking hard whether or not we want them to divide our country further than it already currently is.

    January 26, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
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