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. Basquale

    Where is Hillary? She's such a sore looser! She can't stand like a real women and congratulate Obama in puplic. Go away Billary!

    January 26, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  2. greenstew

    It's about time the American people said "NO" to the Clinton Mafia, "We Want Change in Washington and It starts with The Clintons." I'm very proud of our American friends in South Carolina tonight. We have so much discrimination going on in this primary and I am very sorry that it is happening. Obama and race discrimination. Hillary and gender discrimination. Romney and religion discrimination . McCain and age discrimination. The questions that are asked to these candidates are uncalled for. It is unlawfull to discriminate againest someone for all these things and more. What's next are they going to start asking what their sexual orientation is next. Oh wait, I think they already did that one to Hillary.

    January 26, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  3. Huh???

    Why is this moron making more news than anyone these days???

    January 26, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  4. Elizabeth, Minnesota

    I'm so excited about Obama winning but I never want people to vote "against" someone but rather FOR someone. The only way this can be spun in a positive is if for some reason Bill Clinton riled up people who might not have bothered to vote at all but he somehow ticked them off and they realized how much they DO want the others (Obama/Edwards) to win.

    January 26, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  5. magda

    pleazzz, the blacks gave this one to their brother...hillary will clean in florida and on february 5...she will get the nomination...obama is a neophyte...

    January 26, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  6. RJ

    I would've expected no less from Bill- looks like he'll be the first "unblack" president...what a difference 8 yrs makes.

    January 26, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  7. aisha


    January 26, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  8. Rob_in_MN

    Oh right, people that were going to go for Hillary chose Obama instead because of Bill's "un-statesman like" behavior.

    And do I have a bridge to sell you...

    January 26, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  9. Sue, Greensboro, NC

    Yea, Adam, I wouldn't want for another president to bring any shame on him/herself......wait, what am I thinking? G. W. would never tell half truths, now would he? Mr. Pomeroy (are you serious?) I think one would have to reach way down in the muck and slime to get to the level of G.W and his slimy, worm infested group (Rove, Scooter, DeLay, Abramoff, Foley, Craig, Cheney, et. al.)

    January 26, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. Jackson

    You better put some ice on that!

    January 26, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  11. Cherie

    Give it up already. The country is tired of the Bushs the Clintons. We are a tired people that just want something new.

    January 26, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  12. Concerned Citizen, IN

    It has to be voter fraud? In a state where roughly 50% of the primary voters were expected to be African American, and Obama was polling that he would receive 80% of those voters? Do the math on that, and you have roughly 40% of the total primary votes right there.

    January 26, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  13. Shawn

    I'm still trying to figure out how Hillary is supposedly more experienced....

    January 26, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  14. Whochebama

    Slick Willie is Sick Willie!!! I think he suffered brain damage during his heart surgery.

    January 26, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  15. JD, WI

    Today Barack Obama officially became Black Obama.
    This is actually a defeat for Obama on Feb 5th.

    January 26, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  16. pam Eugene OR

    That is wonderful news. Obama wiped the floor with Hillary.
    Maybe this will make Bill go away for good. He was so negative it was disgusting to watch him. Go home Bill you are not helping your wife or our party. We have a big battle on our hand this fall and it does no good to divide Democrats now.

    January 26, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  17. blake

    It just sickens me that CNN and other networks continue polarize Obama as being able to win in high african american voting areas. How many times does the guy have to win in the white communities before you folks get off this race issue and focus on the man himself.
    Look at what has occurred thus far. He won in 97% white Iowa, came in a very close second in prodominently white New Hampshire. And has completely dominated/routed the others in just about all areas of SC. White and non white areas. Enough about this Race nonsense and focus on the issues. Maybe the networks are just tryinig to keep it in the forefront. However, we americans obviously see through this!!!! for the record I am an independent voter who have yet to make up my mind.

    January 26, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  18. Lee, Charleston, SC

    the clintons new clothes are revealed (yikes-maybe a bad metaphor to use)

    I live in SC (white male 40 years old voted for Obama) and will vote third party or even republican before I'd vote for "hillary".

    they'll do anything to get the delegates (now they want to count michegan & florida after Dem Party agreed not to count them)-it's called "moving the goal posts" at the very least-or just plain cheating in my book...

    January 26, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  19. Chris in Louisville

    I think we are looking at the beginning in the formation of a 3rd party. This feuding between the Obama and Clinton camps are ripping at the fabric of the Democratic Party. If Obama doesn't win his parties nomination there will be an eventual split in the Democratic Party. Half will follow Obama and remain Democrats and the other half will follow the Clintons. Obama has the potential to change this country for the good. Hillary has been gunning for the white house since she was in college. That is why she keeps touting her 35 years of experience. She's had a clear plan from day 1. Why do you think she didn't leave that cheater Bill? She had a vision, and that vision lands right here today. Open your eyes America. If you really, really want change, whether Democrat, Republican, or not affiliated to a party, Obama is the BEST candidate to get America back on track. Not a different version of Bush, and most definitely not another CLINTON. They disgust me making race an issue. That is the same tactic Bush used to get re-elected in 2004 when he stuck same sex marriage onto the ballot in half of the states. WAKE UP AND SEE THE LIGHT PEOPLE!!!

    January 26, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  20. I've finally had it!

    I was a staunch supporter of the Clinton's but they have truly gotten on my nerves. I'm so tired of seeing Bill Clinton. I truly can't tell who is running for President. I'm so tired of their arrogance in believing that they are the only people that can change the country. I understand you need to believe in what you are doing but enough is enough.
    This tag teaming is getting our of hand. I was so excited last year when I hear Obama and Hilliary would be running for President. I was torn over who I would vote for. I'm no longer torn. All the candidates are flawed but they last thing we need is another Clinton in office. Especially because it seems that Bill will not go away quietly. He will not step aside and let Hilliary run the country. And if anyone believes he will, they are delusional. They only reason she will be able to run the country the first day is because Bill will run it for her.

    There are more than two families that can run this country. This Bush – Clinton – Bush – Clinton idea will drive me to drink if they keep this up.

    January 26, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  21. James

    Bill doesn't have half truths. He has outright lies.

    The Clinton's have always lied and also accused rivals of doing the exact things they are doing (race baiting, etc).

    It is time for someone NOT named Bush or Clinton to be in power as the names are interchangeable as far as ethics.

    January 26, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  22. Iago

    This is getting good. HillBilly shoots themselves in the foot, making a huge sympathy vote for Obama, the only presidential candidate in history with less qualifications and resume than John Kerry and Hill.

    January 26, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  23. Axl, Boston,MA

    Americans seem to have forgotten that they became the "greatest country on earth" largely by out-reading, out-mathing, out-working, out-investing and out-saving other nations. Somehow, this sense of possibility and can-do attitude has been replaced by a nativist sense of entitlement to greatness while the rest of the world catches up.

    I'm resigned to Hillary versus McCain. Knowing that none of them can inspire the young people of this country towards greatness makes me really, really sad.

    January 26, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  24. JOHAN

    I hope theirs going to be more states like South Carolina, that wakes up and does something about this country. I mean Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton. Come on it would ruin this Country if we go back to the clintons..

    January 26, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  25. Another Steve

    Way to go South Carolina. Tell those Clintons that their arrogance and half truths of attack mentality aren't gonna work. Thanks for confirmation to America that you do get it despite the Clintons spin.

    January 26, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
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