Poll: Clinton outshines Obama?
September 11th, 2012
08:32 AM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Clinton outshines Obama?

(CNN) - Is former President Bill Clinton overshadowing the current president?

According to a new poll, more people say that the former president's speech was the highlight from last week's Democratic convention rather than the acceptance address given by President Barack Obama.

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A Pew Research Center survey indicates that 29% of national adults who watched at least a little coverage of the Charlotte, North Carolina convention said that Clinton's Wednesday night address was the highlight, with 16% saying the same thing about Obama's Thursday night speech and 15% saying that first lady Michelle Obama's Tuesday night address was the highlight.

During his 48-minute long speech, Clinton formally entered Obama's name into nomination.

Obama may be in good company. The poll also indicates that 20% of those who watched at least a little coverage of the Republican convention, held in Tampa, Florida the previous week, said that actor Clint Eastwood's impromptu speech was the highlight, slightly edging out the 17% who said that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's acceptance address was the highlight.

The Pew Research Center poll was conducted Sept. 7-9, with 1,012 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story

soundoff (216 Responses)
  1. Outshines Obama..

    Clinton outshines Obama...and so we must ask "to whom does the boost in the polls really belong to"????

    September 11, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. Jyothi, St.Louis, MO

    It should not matter who was the highlight at any convention. It matters what facts they spoke about the candidate. It also matters how did the candidate win each speaker. Was that due to mere admiration for the party/candidate or based on the candidate's credibility ? If anyone remembers 2008 democratic primaries, they can realize that Obama and Clinton have come a long way in their friedship.If a former president who left the office with zero debt talks high about a presidential candidate, that is not due to mere friendship. Finally democrats can definitely say if Obama has good support from Clinton , "He built it from scratch !!!"

    September 11, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. JoeThePlumber

    Compare this to why Bush or Palin never got invited.

    September 11, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. Rod

    Who cares if Bill outshined Barack....as long as you have a clearer choice on who you should vote for and to "Timothy"...Maybe Romney needed Eastwood to speak on his behalf because his CAMPAIGN for the last few months is terrible. Obama/Biden 2012

    September 11, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Who gave the better speech at the convention Romney or George Dubya.....oh wait.

    September 11, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Harry Bradford

    Who cares, as long as the two of them are on the same page?

    September 11, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Debbie

    I think its true that Clinton is favored over Obama. And its also true that Reagan was favored over GHWBush. Clinton and Reagan are great folksy communicators and Obama and GHWBush are not as folksy communicators.

    September 11, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. teej

    I think we were/are all relieved to hear some specifics. Specifics that Obama can't state himself, but certainly that he is experientially aware of...after all Clinton's speech was about Obama's accomplishments, and how

    We hear and discuss ideas differently depending on who delivers the information. Smartly done!

    I respect former President Clinton's knowledge and straightforwardness, but Barack Obama is our President – as he reminded those ")") who like to pretend otherwise.

    September 11, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. alien

    Who does the boost in the poles really belong to? That would be the DEMOCRATS

    September 11, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. sassysticks53

    Oh, please, CNN! It doesn't matter to me whether or not Pres. Clinton outshined Pres. Obama! Pres. Clinton was a great surrogate for Pres. Obama and I'm voting for President Obama regardless. Heck, you could say Michelle Obama outshined her husband as well. Neither Pres. Clinton or Michelle Obama are running for re-election so it really doesn't matter. The Democrat's convention in Charlotte certainly outshined the Republican's convention in Tampa, that's for sure.

    September 11, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. Newme1

    Clinton was suppose to highlight Obama's accomplishments and debunk the lies told by Mitt and Minnie Me (Ryan) ...he did an excellent job!

    September 11, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. oussu

    Love or hate Clinton, he still remains extremely popular. Either party would like to replicate Clinton's popularity in their current candidates. The biggest mistake Al "I am not a tree" Gore ever made was distancing himself from Clinton.

    September 11, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. Michaela

    I just don't understand American politics.
    The current President can't run on his record , so a previous President who left his Presidency in disgrace 12 years ago , gets recruited to do the spiel to engage voters and you all fall for it.

    September 11, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    Aaaaaand, CNN is desperate to try to return the election to "close horse race" status. Pretty sad that the MSM uses nonsense polling to stoop to the level of make-news fluff pieces just to do a hit job that will give them something more sensational to report on.

    September 11, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Swing State

    And? Clinton was talking about Obama during his speech. Who was better, Romney or Eastwood?

    September 11, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. lolo

    Who cares, because Romneyhood was a bust period. His backers just cared about themselves. They know that Mittens the Kitten is a dud so they were talking about themselves and did not know how to describe Mittens character because he is a phony.

    September 11, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. NCP

    Clinton made the case AGAINST Obama. HIs presidency's success was directly attributable to his skill and leadership in working with the opposition (Newt Gingrich!) to get things done (as Reagan did with O'Neill) instead of whining about "obstructionists" like Obama does. Clinton was a leader. Obama is not. Reagan was. Romney will be, too.

    September 11, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. brivers

    Does it matter? The important thing is it was a shining endorsement from a man with a proven record. Obama can't outshine himself from 4 & 8 years ago because the message has changed. His job isn't to energize and make voters think differently... now it's about proving that we should stay on track.

    September 11, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. john

    Obama did an excellent job. As president, it hard to deliver speeches with same fire as a canditate or ex president. Obama has to be very careful was he says ,and not to offend any one , so his speech was not as dramatic as CLinton. What really matters is the message of the convention. Democrats came out with a well organized and message filled event, while the Repuclican's highlight was Clint Eatwood talking to an empty chair. Enough said!!

    September 11, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. FedUp

    Of course he does. Next question?

    September 11, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. ll

    So, this is what you have when you get two good presidents from one party...."Who was the best on this point or that?"

    The larger picture.....These two will be remembered as very good presidents in the overall lineup of our national leaders. NOT a bad problem to have.

    September 11, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. comeblowyourhorn

    that discredited EX president who taught our children about oral sex loooonnnng before they needed to know ought o be put out to pasture. Our President Obama does not need him to win. The people who like clinton are already voting fro our President....

    September 11, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Woman In California


    Woman In California
    A total lie:
    Former president Bill Clinton gave a very good informational speech.
    President Barak Obama gave a very good inspirational speech.
    In conclusion: the president gave the better speech.

    Poor woman.. you have a problem if you are still inspired by Mr. Obama. The guy needs help to be taken seriously and you find this inspirational? He and his 2008 campaign trashed the Clintons, he wouldn't be able to do anything without them, and he is an inspiration? Your judgement is upside down.


    Poor Ann:
    We can't have a president who feels America is in DECLINE. The president HAS TO INSPIRE but I don't expect you to understand that. Bill Clinton has a way of speaking to people on one level while the president speaks on another. Like it or not our president did just fine to intelligent, non bigoted people.

    September 11, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. Redmon

    Yeah of course. Clinton was a great President and Obama is a pretender just like we knew he would be.

    September 11, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. moonghaelela

    Clinton is in a much more enviable position. His actions and words do not result in government policies or programs. He doesn't have to work with what appears to be an unmovable House on critical legislation.

    September 11, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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