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. gyates

    as a republican, i am delighted to see hillary and bill lose s. c. maybe the dems are beginning to come to their senses and see what the clinton machine is all about. is it possible that this might humble the clintons just a little? pride goes before a fall.

    January 26, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  2. jason agne

    They say the only true democracy is marriage. Bill has already demonstrated that he doesn't think Hillary is competent in holding up her end of a democracy. I don't understand how Hillary's supporters are so easily fooled. I suppose John Edwards is lucky, in a sense. If he were winning, Hillary would be picking at his past like the republican she may as well just say she is.

    Discord at this state is bad. Bareing fangs at the contendents of your same party is destructive. If Hillary won, after seeing the depth she's willing to sink to just to win the primary, I'd vote Nader. She comes of as no less power hungry than a republican. And as an Obama supporter, I know that there are Hillary supporters who feel the same about Obama. This isn't helping. The bottom line is that this country desperately needs to get the republicans out of office. I could do a better job as president than our current administration. Please stop bickering!

    In my opinion there should never be any independent campaigning during the primaries. They should ALL be debates – that way even those who are unwaiveringly for one person still get the chance to hear the perspective of the other contendents, from their own mouths, and not just the "i-got-the-last-word-i-win" radio and TV ads. Save that for the real run (or omit it completely).

    Anyway, I don't understand why anyone supports Hillary at all, when she claims to have Bill backing her. Have you seen "Life and Debt?" If she divorced Bill, I'd take more liking to her, but after his horrible decision with NAFTA and economic destruction of Jamaica, it's safe to say he's a real prick.

    January 26, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  3. DL

    Barack Obama is correct, he is fighting 2 Clinton's. Would Hillary run the White House? CNN, you have made this point but yet you just gave Bill 10-15 minutes air time campaign speech in MS! Why not McCain's speech in FL? I never saw Michelle Obama or Oprah get that much air time. Stop giving him the media attention, he knows how to work the system.

    January 26, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  4. duch

    He who is with out sin, let them case the first stone. See how easy it is to make negative comments, not knowing the truth story.

    January 26, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  5. Jerry

    I am really tied of the Clintons. Hate to imagine 8 years of their crap.

    January 26, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  6. Kreplakistan

    Thank you CNN for honest reporting on the negative impact of former President Clinton's participation in the SC race.

    Let's hope that the Clinton spin machine sputters after this tremendous defeat and they learn that the country wants to go in a new direction.

    Go Obama!

    January 26, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  7. Andy

    Media has to check on how they present facts not Bill go away. This lack of objectivity by so many is incredible. Actually not surprising for a country who elected Bush twice. Apparently you Americans have learned nothing.

    January 26, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  8. dee

    Maybe Americans should look into what Obama"s real beliefs and priorities are. His sly comments weren't emphsized in the media like the other canadates. The media does twist comments. Shouldn't we know all about our canadates. I'm voting for Edwards or Romney.

    January 26, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  9. Steve R

    If I were voting in the South Carolina Primary I would have voted for Obama. The reason being Bill and Hillary Clinton seem to think Hillary DESERVES to be elected Preident....Obama has shown warmth and integrity two characteristics badly missing from Hillary's campaign, and Hillary as a person.

    January 26, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  10. JJC

    Pray God: No more Ivy Leaguers in the White House for a bit. We need a rest from people who don't realize that they have been "educated" far beyond their intellectual capacities. I'd love to have the opportuntiy to vote for some one from one of those rectangular states somewhere in the middle who knows what a tractor is and can drive it competently and probably repair it need be. Some one who can run a farm or run a business and who possesses true common sense regardless of party, gender or race. This is America. Dynasties have no place here.

    January 26, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  11. Harold Raifsnyder

    To understand the Clintons one has to know about the late radical activist Saul Alinsky. He was their inspiration and she admits it in her biography. This explains the deceit and smear campaigns they are famous for. The internet has much about the guy.

    January 26, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  12. Tracy

    One more thing, Bill Clinton loves his wife I am sure but he has an unhealthy way of showing it, first with the public affairs now with his unruly public comments against one of the two opponents of Hillary Clinton...why hasn't he tried to smear Edwards like he is trying to do with Barack Obama?

    January 26, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  13. l3wilso, Texas

    No voter fraud. The people of SC voted for the likely person that can get the job done.

    Bill Clinton does need to go away. The truth certainly has a way of coming to the light. All one has to do is open their mouth the reveal their true self.

    January 26, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  14. edwardo

    enough of the Clintons. Make them go away.

    January 26, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  15. jimbo591

    Bill is a proven liar. Why would she want him out there?
    Better he keeps his mouth shut.

    January 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  16. calvin wehunt

    I have listen to the talking heads all night as they report on a Clinton loss in SC. Who is surprised. There is only one thing that drove this election--RACE.

    January 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  17. Annie

    Finally, the Clintons are finding out that they have a negative impact, especially Bill. His fingering pointing reminded me of when he denied he had sex with that woman.

    Getting to feel that the Bill Clinton is running for office and Hillary is the front person!

    So glad that Obama won and won BIG time!

    January 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  18. Jeff

    Bill Clinton has gone from statesman, to henchman, to goat. Given the results of the South Carolina primary, voters overwhelmingly repudiated the nasty and over-the-line tactics by the Clintons. Now it is time for Hillary Clinton to stand on her own in the contest against Sen. Barack Obama. For me, the choice is clear, Sen. Obama is the only true candidate who rises above the machine politics exhibited by the Clinton campaign, and can bring America together and win in November.

    January 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  19. Ex-Clinton fan

    I am one of the many young liberal/progressive voters who have lost an immense amount of respect for Bill Clinton during this election. His conduct is unbecoming of a former president. While I would be happy to send Obama, Edwards or Kucinich to the White House (and would have been willing to send Hillary Clinton as late as January 1), I am officially through with the Clintons.

    January 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  20. Sis O, IA

    Bill and Hillary Clinton's divisive identity politics did not work. And why did Bill Clinton give Hillary's speech tonight? This is ludicrous. I am beginning to seriously believe Hillary's campaign is a cover for a third term for Bill Clinton!

    January 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  21. Juan Pueblo

    This country needs to be led by a new younger generation, baby boomers, like the Clintons, need to fade away,,thank you for your service to this great country but your time is up, old dogs do not learn new tricks. Real, generational change is needed.

    January 26, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  22. stan pitts pa

    yeah, the republicans will never work with hrc, they dont want them back in the white house! they stopped them before and they will continue to stop hrc! to end gridlock vote obama!

    January 26, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. William

    Happy days are back again for America. From Jan 2009 White House will be run by all Minorities. Thumbs Up. Good New for Africa. Good New for South America. Its a refreshing change. Thanks for the young american voters looking for change.

    January 26, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  24. Bryan Magnusson

    Jerry Pomeroy: Is it possible that a majority of Americans are finally learning what the Clintons are all about?

    It depends on what your definition of "is" is...Ha-Ha-Ha.

    January 26, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  25. Eith

    The Clintons' politics of say anything to win - be it divide Americans, Democrats in this case as they tried but failed, and telling naked lies to the voters - has just been REJECTED by the people of South Carolina, young and rich, old and young, of all races and religious sectors.

    January 26, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
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