In the battle of the campaign surrogates, Bill Clinton appears to beat out Oprah Winfrey in a landslide.
A new CBS/New York Times national poll out Tuesday shows that 44 percent of Democratic primary voters say they were more likely to vote for Hillary Clinton because of her husband. But only 1 percent said they were more likely to vote for Barack Obama because of his supporter, Oprah Winfrey.
Winfrey over the weekend packed stadiums with the Illinois senator on a high-profile tour across three early voting states. A lot has been made of Winfrey's endorsement of Obama, and at the very least her support offered the candidate access to huge, enthusiastic crowds during their tour Saturday and Sunday. The Sunday event in Columbia, S.C., brought in nearly 30,000 people.
Possibly as a result of Winfrey's appearance, an InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion poll taken from Dec. 8-9 showed Obama with a boost in South Carolina. The poll gave Obama 28 percent; Clinton pulled in 22 percent, and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards pulled in 14 percent. The survey was taken of 480 likely voters, and had a margin of error of 4 percent.
InsiderAdvantage’s Matt Towery said he makes a correlation between Obama's numbers and Winfrey's visit.
“Obama’s support among African-Americans rose a bit over the weekend, while Clinton’s dropped. This follows our poll of late last week in which there was a major shift in black voters towards Obama," Towery said in a statement. “However, Obama’s white vote has not moved. Clearly the Oprah Winfrey visit to the state moved African-American voters. The issue now is whether Clinton can eat into some of Edwards' support or reclaim some of her prior African-American support."
But 80 percent percent of those polled in the CBS/New York Times survey said the Oprah factor made no difference for Obama's chances, and 14 percent even said she made them less likely to vote for him.
The Bill Clinton effect was seen as more of a sure thing. Only 46 percent of those polled said he made no difference in how they viewed Hillary Clinton's candidacy. Seven percent said they were less likely to vote for her because of the former president, who has campaigned on behalf of his wife at stops throughout the country.
And according to the poll, Bill Clinton could be more important to Hillary Clinton's supporters than the issue the candidate has made the cornerstone of her campaign: experience. Twenty-six percent of those polled said they support Clinton because of her husband — only 23 percent said they support her because of her experience.
In the overall poll, Clinton received 44 percent, while Obama took in 27 percent and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards took in 11 percent.
The poll also found that Clinton is overwhelmingly seen as the most electable Democrat. Sixty-three percent said Clinton had the best chance of winning, compared with 14 percent for Obama and 10 percent for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.
And sized up against her opponents, her experience plays a bigger role. Eighty-three percent said she is prepared to be president, while 41 percent said the same for Obama and 36 percent said so for Edwards.
The Democratic poll was taken from interviews with 417 likely voters, from Dec. 5-9. The margin of error was 5 percent.