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. LR

    Fact is, Hillary is far better than anyone the GOP can offer and they know it! So, all they can do is bash her-it's so transparent and pathetic.

    June 30, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. John P

    55% at this juncture seems like an awfully low "positive" number. Especially since she isn't even a candidate yet. Huge red flag. Democratic pollsters must be plenty worried that putting all their eggs in her basket anytime soon is a real risky thing to do for their credibility and reliability once a primary race heats up.

    June 30, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  3. dotofoz

    I can relate to Hilary. I grew up poor, I mean 1 pair of shoes per year poor. You got them at the beginning of the school year, and if you grew out of them by summer, you went barefoot kind of poor. Now I have a great home, my husband let me retire early to take care of our lovely home. We have savings, pensions, and social security. But every time something goes wrong with the car or major appliance, I worry. I worry there isn't enough money. There is, but I guess I will always have that fear of being poor and barefoot again. I worry that I shouldn't have retired early, even though we are doing just fine. So I understand why Hilary thought they were broke when they left the White House. For the first time, they didn't really have a job. Sure, everything was going to be ok, because they had a great pension and prospects for lectures and other career moves, but at that moment of change, she wasn't thinking ahead. Just thought you would want the perspective from someone who has been there.

    June 30, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. Mike Brown

    Hillary Clinton can no more relate to me, my life and trials than George Bush can. The Clintons have been so removed from reality for so many years that they don't have a clue what it is like to make a mortgage payment, stress about losing your job, about trying to decide to go see the doctor or not because you cannot afford the bill......the list is endless.

    Nobody who makes $225,000 for giving a speech can relate. I don't care how many times Bill says he 'feels my pain', the only thing he feels is when Hillary kicks him in the buttocks.

    June 30, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. Liberal...NOT

    I am truly hoping that most Americans are over the liberal experiment that we've had in the white house for the last two terms. We simply cannot afford another return to radical left policies. The experiment has failed...miserably. I hope that it is obvious but, with the intelligence level of most Americans, I just don't know.

    June 30, 2014 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. Bytemeagain

    The majority of the American people finds that she can relate to them. It's the media stirring up yet another strawman in order to plant seeds of division. They need to keep the flashpoint of the 24 hour news cycle hot.

    June 30, 2014 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. Allon22

    Let's get real here for a minute, shall we? The only Americans that can "relate" to ANY of the possible presidential candidates are the OTHER possible presidential candidates. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Sixpack, like you and me, are busy buying groceries at Wal-Mart, watching reruns of "The Honeymooners", and taking the kids to soccer practice. Who's kidding who with this poll?

    June 30, 2014 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. annie

    Hillary is a leader..that is what counts! I am not looking for a best friend of therapist, if I need to find someone who will "relate to me" I won't be expecting the President.

    June 30, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  9. Sniffit

    "Poll: Majority think Hillary Clinton can relate to average Americans"

    What the GOP/Teatrolls heard: "We need to make louder and more frequent attacks about Hillary's wealth and speaking fees and feed them to the MSM for free broadcasting."

    June 30, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  10. Sniffit

    "the country must elect a novelty

    Please go with that line of attack and say things like that ALOT. I promise you it's a guaranteed winner with women voters. Please....proceed....

    June 30, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. Rob-Texas

    Some 592 Democrats were polled and still drink the cool aide. Yeah, she can relate and Prince Charles is just the average guy next door.

    June 30, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. Dean

    Democrats can always be fooled.

    June 30, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. WhyBOTHER

    I, as well as other average, middle class, struggled through the economic downturn, feel and believe that Hillary is the answer as our next POTUS. She and her husband have been in public service all their lives, which goes to show that they weren't in it for the money. Granted, it's only when nearing their respective retirement they made money which is well deserved after all they did for their country.

    June 30, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. StanSitwell

    I can't relate to a rich person with a face like Droopy Dog. I can't relate to Hillary.

    June 30, 2014 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  15. George T Hibs

    Lets see, the Clinton's make $12M per year, and I make What? Thought I was middle class but after seeing their annual income I might as well be living in a tribal village in Pakistan with goats in my house for milk.

    June 30, 2014 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  16. amc

    I'm sure this poll was surveyed by people who actually support her bc the majority of people don't believe a word she says. After all this is the Clinton News Network

    June 30, 2014 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. Gunderson

    Whazzat?,
    Hillary can relate to the average voter? Would that be the voter that for over 100 years gave us a 18 trillion Dollar Federal Debt? Well then old Gunderson agree, Hillary fill the Bill. Electing an intelligent person like Romney no good. You want somebody know nothing who not smarter than you. That way you still get all your benefits. Hillary your man, er, woman.

    June 30, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. dnokc

    It's more than a sad day for America, it's downright depressing if 55% of Americans believe Hillary can relate to them. Perhaps the catch was in "As much as any other politician" which would make this a total and complete waste of time reading!

    June 30, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. Solomon Walker

    All participants in the poll are employed by CNN.

    Last I knew, the imbecile did not reside in a homeless shelter or anything beneath a mansion.

    June 30, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. Ken

    Take all the money, contacts and silver-spoons away and sure, we'll relate.

    June 30, 2014 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Ken

    Ditch the witch.

    June 30, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. the troof

    "recent fumbles".....what would they say if it was Romney, Cruz, Rubio, Perry?

    June 30, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. Michael Powers

    How can anyone relate to Queen Hillary? She is worth over $100 million (that we know of) and has been out of touch with her subjects for 30 years!

    June 30, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. Sniffit

    " Would that be the voter that for over 100 years gave us a 18 trillion Dollar Federal Debt?"

    Again, Captain Babytalk, you're a big fat liar: the $18T debt is almost entirely comprised of the Bush tax cuts, unfunded Medicare Part D, the two unfunded wars and the Great Recession. We had a surplus when Bush took office, which he promptly squandered by cutting taxes for the wealthy. The numbers don't lie, you do.

    June 30, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. Log

    Nope. She can't relate to me. Need someone young with fresh ideas that is not a hardened politician.

    June 30, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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