June 29th, 2014
06:22 PM ET
5 years ago

Poll: Majority think Hillary Clinton can relate to average Americans

(CNN) - Despite recent fumbles on the state of her personal wealth, a new national survey shows more than half of respondents believe Hillary Clinton can relate to average Americans as well as other possible White House hopefuls can.

The NBC/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll released Sunday indicates 55% surveyed think Clinton can relate to the problems of everyday citizens. But 37% said Clinton, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, isn't as relatable as other potential White House hopefuls.

The survey was conducted from Thursday through Saturday, after a series of wealth-related comments that critics say prove the longtime Washington political fixture has lost touch with the struggles of ordinary people.

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In a recent interview with ABC News at the start of her book tour peddling her new memoir, the former first lady described the financial situation of her and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as "dead broke" upon leaving the White House. Those comments, while correct - the Clintons did leave the White House with considerable debt - created the sense among some people that the former first family is out of step with the average American.

Asked later to explain the misstep, Clinton stumbled again on the topic of wealth, contrasting what she pays in income tax to that of other "truly" wealthy individuals, in an interview with The Guardian newspaper in Great Britain.

Clinton later said her comments were "unartful" and that her record defending the middle class "speaks for itself." Bill Clinton quickly came to his wife's defense. And President Barack Obama brushed off the commotion over the comments, underscoring the former secretary of state's commitment to public service in an interview that aired Sunday.

Still, Republicans continue to pounce on the comments, highlighting that Clinton and her husband now collect hefty sums for speaking engagements, left office with a sizable government pension as well as the promise of massive book advances. All this comes to the Clintons as income inequality and an ailing economy continue to dog the nation.

First on CNN: National Republicans say Hillary Clinton is next Obama, not husband

The NBC/WSJ/Annenberg poll was conducted from June 26-28 among 592 adults, contacted by telephone. The sampling error is plus or minus 5.1 percentage points.

CNN's Dan Merica and Cassie Spodak contributed to this report.

Related: Hillary Clinton wants 2014 Democrats to run on Obamacare

Prosecutor in controversial case says Clinton had no choice but to defend rapist


Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (318 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    She talks from a script " embedded in her mind only; with no chances of touching on the reality"; then, she fumbles when real questions are asked! And, she cannot answer!!!!!

    June 30, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Rene

    Who took this poll? She can not relate to the demise of the middle class, because she has never been in the middle class. A family capable of sending their only child to the top universities in the country and make millions of dollars just opening their mouths have no idea what a struggle it is for most of us to make our mortgage and transportation to work.

    June 30, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. tm1946

    Democrat or Republican, professional politicians have nothing in common most "normal" people. They are driven by desires most of us cannot relate to. We need them to, mainly because we do not want to become them.

    To me, just another Democratic testing of the waters for their next "royal" family. Unfortunately, the Clintons are about the worst bunch many of us want nothing to do with.

    June 30, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. kenman14

    Can she relate to you? Not unless you're a bitter feminist lesbian willing to be use everyone in your life for her political ambitions, willing to live in a sham marriage and have War Rooms beating back the "bimbo eruptions" against your stage husband and see numerous "friends" killed over the years in politically-motivated episodes!

    June 30, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. OtaKte

    This is ridiculous... can any presidential candidate relate to 95 percent of the people. They're all wealthy and detached. This isn't about "relation" this is about vision and overall perspective. But, I don't expect the sheep to ever truly understand this... SMH. Pitiful people.

    June 30, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. Realistic Patriot

    I do not care whether our leaders can "relate" to us or not. All I care about is what policies they pursue and what decisions they make.

    June 30, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. tim

    hmm, must be an old poll. Maybe pre-"Hard Choices" book. Answer: she cannot relate to anyone, she should helped figure out why all those people died in bengazi

    June 30, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Dipak

    Hillary Clinton can't relate to middle class at all. Look at her lifestyle..
    But which politician can really relate to middle class ? Most of them are career politician eating into public money.

    June 30, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. linsea50

    Since I doubt most Americans think getting a child rapist off the hook is either clever or something to brag or laugh about, I'm going to say no, she cannot relate.

    June 30, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Joeseph Eclaire

    @TomGI,

    You and Mr. Nader are spot on ! The question is will the media call her on that b.s. The media doesn't have the public's back anymore, and if they want her in there they'll cover for her. The very fact that her name is even being considered is a disgrace to Democracy and I dare say woman in general.

    Now look who the other side might throw up against her, another Bush, Jeb Bush. America is trending dangerously close to being a monarchy. And as they will pimp her towards the woman and gays they'll pimp Bush towards the Hispanic vote because he's married to a Chicano.

    And as the media is already trying to do with her the other side will try to paint Bush as part of the fabric of America. And both have never done a hard days work in their silver spoon lives.

    To build a career around politics is perhaps the greatest insult against the American people.

    June 30, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. Psalm 19

    Wouldn't vote for this woman – ever! But, isn't it amazing that she and her cheating husband got rich from producing nothing! I mean, really, what if any, constructive work did those two ever do????

    June 30, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. strider64

    If by Average Americans, you mean people who make 6 figures then yeah she can relate to the Average American.

    June 30, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. steve

    Some day we'll have a female president. It won't be Hillary Clinton.

    She has no real political charisma. The only reason she's even a player is because of her husband. She does not have his appeal.

    End of story.

    June 30, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. G H

    Kind of like Bush and Cheney? One AWOL and the other having too many other important things to do than serve in the military.

    June 30, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Whom did you Poll yourself? She is a rich little liar

    June 30, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. KS

    When Joe Schmo becomes President, then for the first time I will have a President I can relate to. No, I cannot relate to millionaires.

    June 30, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. Bedgar

    relates to me like a f@rt in a whirlwind

    June 30, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. Chas

    You would have to be very delusional if you feel that the multi-millionaire politicians "relate" to our problems. Not just Hillary – but all of them including multi-millionaire Indian Elizabeth Warren, Issa, Kerry, Gore, Graham, etc.

    As long as this country allows PACS and SUPERPACS to contribute to our congressional and presidential campaigns, we are simply allowing the highest bidders to run the show.

    June 30, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Madoff

    Dinner with Obama – $32,500.

    Hillary speech – $200,000+

    Regular folks who feel your pain!

    June 30, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. retired2hunt

    Really CNN? Call this out please! Hillary Clinton relates only to who she wants to relate to... and for now that is USA voters until after elected. WAKE UP USA VOTERS!

    June 30, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  21. Libmylibs

    I dont want her to relate to me at all. Why not come clean about Benghazi and your dauther with Webb Hubble huh?

    June 30, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. Debbie Chanik

    No politician can relate to any "normal" American. They don't live in our neighborhoods. They don't worry about paying the bills like we do. They are so far removed from reality it's disgusting.

    June 30, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. woodie

    Republican's engage in negative campaigns. That seems to be all they can do since they don't have a decent platform to work from. Hillary Clinton works from a platform that benefits the people. I'd like to see the Republicans do something similar for a change.

    June 30, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Randy, San Francisco

    Yes of course! The Clintons have always been a champion for hard working Americans. We should be happy for her lucrative speaking engagements. Well deserved and earned after years of fiathful public service and sacrfice.

    June 30, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. Beth

    Who cares if she can relate to me or not? I don't like her style. Her "husband" is a cheat and a liar and I don't want that kind around me.

    June 30, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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