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.

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

    Thomas, Don't think so...The Benghazi Butcher will keel over dead before that from her rat poison blood thinners. You must be in Denver and a mile high! As long as the MSM keeps backing these scum we will remain fooked!

    June 29, 2014 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  2. Tom

    55% say she can relate to regular Americans?
    Who did they poll, the staff at MSNBC? Whether you like her or not, she isn't electable anymore! The big Dem donors are looking for another, just the same way the big GOP donors aren't considering Christie anymore!!

    June 29, 2014 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  3. Tommy G

    Yes, Hillary Clinton relates very well to the people in top of the top of the top 1%, which is where her income for giving speeches puts her. Yes, the annoited Queen of the Democrat Party got it all through "the dint of hard work"!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Giving speeches for $225,000 a pop is "hard work"!!! That, right there, is the DEFINITION of being out of touch with the average person.

    June 29, 2014 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  4. yippeeskip

    They never polled me...

    June 29, 2014 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  5. carol baltzell

    Better Hillery than any of the GOP. The GOP have proven that they cannot govern. GOP ideas are ludicrous. They lack common sense and try to cover their ignorance by yelling and screaming and preaching.

    June 29, 2014 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  6. August

    While the repubs are no better....most pollsters can "Create" the right questions that will elicit the responses that they want to lay claim to. this looks like a bad attempt...that barely passed.

    June 29, 2014 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  7. Robert

    I'm a conservative who has absolutely no doubt she will be the next president. The Tea Partiers & The GOP spend too much time with infighting, they won't get their act together. In addition, they have never grasped the fact demographics and math will call this White House election. Women, African Americans and Hispanics will determine the election far above old, white, fat rich dudes in America (Fox etc.). They have failed miserably to gain the support of women, of African Americans, of Hispanics. Honestly, the woman is extremely bright and has much more experience in D.C. than Obama could have dreamed of. Compared to this current presidency, she will be a breath of fresh air any way.

    June 29, 2014 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  8. rick

    Well.. It seems by the comments by those before me. Should show a reality check of the truth of how people feel. Hillary had so-called stumbled so many times. Its a wonder she hasnt put herself into a retirement home for clumsyness. But. Again. The words are twisted to show a positive outcome. People wake up.. Hillary would have no idea how to actualy live on the income of the "avarage" working american. And has absolutly NO understanding of making REAL HARD CHOICES like food or medicine. Or child care to electric bill. Thats the REAL america that she will NEVER understand. Does not compute. Not in vocabulary. Does not exist. Just like Bengazi.. Out of sight.. Out of mind.. To be ignored.. Maybe the silver spoon.. Needs to turn to brass.. Get a real taste of the basics. Shop at Wal-Mart. Or Target. With a actual BUDGET. No personal driver and fancy Caddillac at whim and call. No multipull MANSIONS to chose to live at on a whim. Change her OWN TIRE on a car when flat. Thats the avarage american..

    June 30, 2014 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  9. cg

    320 million people live in the USA, and America has only Hillary Clinton to pick for president? Boy, this country is going down fast. She'll be like the queen ant among a huge followers of mind twisted ants attending to all her needs.

    June 30, 2014 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  10. DoNotWorry

    What a bunch of nonsense being spouted by right wingnuts who all self-identify with the Koch Machine. Hillary Clinton is fully qualified to be President of the United States. Hillary Clinton is not perfect. Hillary Clinton will be a good President if elected. She doesn't have to eat Spam to empathize with human beings. Grow up Rethugs... eight more years of endless stupid remarks won't cut it... this country is weary of your endless hate and petty rages. Get off your duffs and create something positive.

    June 30, 2014 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  11. vikingwoman

    It's amazing the spinning & twisting of innocuous statements! The nit picking is getting worse than a nagging spouse! It's depressing! Hillary is no more wealthy than any of the rest on the Hill & they're all richer than most of us! C'mon peeps, don't let them fool us into this rep v. dem silliness! It's really us v. them! We have to keep them in line so they don't get swollen with power & go off the rails! That's what voting is about! I must say though, the GOTP has lost their minds numerous times these past 14 yrs, so I'm quite a bit more skeptical of them these days!!

    June 30, 2014 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  12. Marie MD

    Bill was making $35,000 a year as governor. I think most Americans can relate to that.
    They are also the only president who really didn't have a house to go back to as they lived in the governor's mansion.
    That they have made money after leaving the WH? So what? Even the shrub #43 is making money from his paintings. Remember the screecher from AK? Why do you think she quit? For the good of the people of AK?
    The same goes for the Obamas. They struggled as a young married couple with two girls and high student loans.
    The twit, on the other hand, was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

    June 30, 2014 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  13. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Really can't wait to see Thad Cochran,Kevin McCarthy,Thom Tillis.Sheldon Adelson,Rupert Mourdoch,Karl Rove,Lindsey Graham,Susan Collins,John McCain,Hayley Barbour,Grover Norquist and the GOP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea party's throats EXACTLY like they stuffed Romney down. Straight no chaser. Hillary will drink to that!

    June 30, 2014 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  14. sandyc

    Oh please. Hillary can relate to the average American? Her definition of being "flat broke and in debt" is vastly different than the average American's definition of "flat broke and in debt". I don't expect any of our elected officials to be paupers. I expect them to be well educated, and yes, more wealthy than I am. What I do expect from them is realizing that the average American is struggling with high food costs, gas prices, job losses, and not try to compare themselves and their wealth with our lack of wealth.

    I purchase meats from a local grocer store that has, what I fondly call the "dead meat aisle". This is beef, pork, chicken, lunch meats, etc. that have reached their sell by dates. I can buy these meats at about 50% off the regular price. You either cook it that night or you throw it in the freezer. I cannot afford to buy fresh produce, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, veggies any longer, so I shop for frozen when on sale, or canned at the cheapest price.

    Hillary, when was the last time you personally shopped at a grocery store? Don't talk to me about your "flat broke"!

    June 30, 2014 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  15. Norma Vessels

    It's not a matter of being able to relate to the average, struggling American, which we all can .. it's a matter of whether you care about the struggles of the average American. I believe Hillary Clinton does care. She is working with women, who work and have children to care for, just like she did with her daughter.

    June 30, 2014 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  16. Norma Vessels

    And no, both Bill and Hillary Clinton were not raised in money. They both came from an average American home, though President Clinton only had his mom to rely on. They did not have money coming out of college. They both had a lot owed for their college loans, just like everybody else, and no one gave them money. They worked their way up. So, don't put them down for working hard, and climbing the ladder.

    June 30, 2014 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  17. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    She's better than anyone the GOP has and that scares them to death. Bill and Hillary were not born into wealth like many on the right. They worked hard and lived the American dream. That's what people should aspire for. And just because you are born with that platinum spoon doesn't make you any more entitled than anyone else. Find something else.

    FIFY.

    June 30, 2014 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  18. Sue

    I don't want a president that can relate to me. I want a president that is a leader, has experience and intelligence. She has those. If I want someone like me, I will hang out with my friends. None of whom should be in charge of anything.

    June 30, 2014 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  19. HEC

    I don't know. Her definition of being broke and mine are totally different. Having the government support your for eight years on the taxpayers dime bringing in $400k/year and claiming your broke when you leave it is crazy. I guess being rich lawyers and taking a pay cut, while living on the government can be considered welfare, I suppose.

    June 30, 2014 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  20. Jessica McGwin

    No she can not even remotely relate to me.

    June 30, 2014 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    Her values & morality align with me more than any of the GOP candidates.

    June 30, 2014 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  22. JJ

    The bottom line is that she's going to win and stay in the WH for 8 years, and right wingers are foaming at the mouth about it. Who cares. Let them foam. They deserve to feel the pain after 8 years of that dimwit Bush.

    June 30, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  23. hagerwatches

    How can Hillary relate when she doesn't experience the same everyday issues that your average American faces. Does she have to pay gas to drive an hour to her job everyday or worry about how she's going to pay for morgtage, electricity, and a myriad of other bills that your average American faces. Does she have to worry about foreclosure or student loans or not having a job at all? I think not. I think your poll is flawed or the results have been skewed. The reason we have the system of government that we have is so we don't have dynasty's. Can America not find 500 citizens to run government? Enough is enough!

    June 30, 2014 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    ... ... But 37% said Clinton, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, isn't as relatable as other potential White House hopefuls.
    -----------------------------------
    Gee, I wonder who those "other potential hopefuls" could possibly be. I wonder which party they could be affiliated with.

    June 30, 2014 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  25. Ed

    "The NBC/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg pol..."
    The poll came from the home of the uber liberal Nazis. OF COURSE, it favors Clinton!

    June 30, 2014 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
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