June 29th, 2014
06:22 PM ET
5 months 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. Uncle Sam

    Apparently not; but then none of the elite politicians can.

    June 30, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. BaltoPaul

    She can relate to me. WIth the stock market heating up, I'm #BrokeLikeAClinton!

    June 30, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. steve-o

    A day without Hillary, is a day without...... well.......Damn, it would be a good day.

    June 30, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Justin

    Love all the dems defending the Clinton's wealth. Funny how Romney being rich and out of touch was an issue in 2012, but Hillary plays the fiddle of being not "well off", with her estimated wealth eclipsing 50 million and she is suppose to be given a pass.

    The depths the left goes into hypocriteland is astounding.

    June 30, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Marcel

    So people will go with the least worst person...sad....
    A rich woman, who (1) happened to be still married to a previous president, (2) lost a pre-presidential election because even feminists voted with the american born guit-ridden whitties for the smooth-talking naive and incapable current half-black president, and (3) has nothing on her resume as a Sec. of State....and people relate to her??? Sad, sad state of affairs in this country....
    -------------------------------------
    She has spent more time with foreign heads of state than the entire Republican Party combined. Speaking of which, who do the Republicans have to run against her? Rubio? Cruz? Paul? Christie? Walker? One of losers from the last Republican race for the primary?

    BTW, Romney will never run because he would have to release some tax returns, which is never going to happen.

    June 30, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    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.

    Yeah. Because writing books is a Democrat thingy. Republicans never, ever write books for profit.

    Seems to be nothing more than sour grapes. You know. Hillary and Bill make more money on their books and speeches, than say Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor. And so on and so forth.

    June 30, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. george cook

    SHE "AIN'T" BROKE....and never has been....altho her new BOOK is a BUST...but she ain't broke but can she RELATE to the common person....not a chance in H.....ll!! She will get demolished in the Election IF she is the Nominee.

    June 30, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Justin

    Love all the dems defending the Clinton's wealth. Funny how Romney being rich and out of touch was an issue in 2012, but Hillary plays the fiddle of being not "well off", with her estimated wealth eclipsing 50 million and she is suppose to be given a pass.

    The depths the left goes into hypocriteland is astounding.
    --------------------------------------
    Romney was born into great wealth, while the Clintons were not. No doubt that the Clinton's make investments, but their speaking engagements would be considered earned income, while Mitt Romney's income is exclusively through capital gains. Remember his out-of-touch claim on the campaign trail, "I'm unemployed, too."?

    Actually, it was conservatives who made Romney's wealth a campaign issue, not liberals. Conservatives constantly leveled the ridiculous charge that liberals were "jealous" of Romney's wealth, which explained why liberals accused Romney's wealth as the cause for him being so out of touch with average Americans. Liberals were talking about Romney not being able to relate, while conservatives dismissed the opinion as jealousy over Romney's great wealth.

    June 30, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. davecu

    Not even close!
    She is entitled and has committed many sins of omission and commission to get to her lofty height.
    I worked for 50 years and live off SS and a small pension. I bought my first house 2 yrs ago because I finally could.
    After renting for 40+ years.

    How is this person going relate to me.
    My most expensive dinner was $125 for two.

    June 30, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. Babyboomer

    I don't care if she was or wasn't broke. What matters is if she has empathy for the everyday common man and woman. That's what was missing from Romney, his running mate and his wife for that matter in 2012. Hillary and former President Clinton get it, just like our setting POTUS and First Lady. I will never vote for anyone who I "feel" doesn't understand, care for nor is willing to work towards helping average citizens of the United States. If Hillary runs in 2016, she will get my vote...

    June 30, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. sonny chapman

    She's been through enough CRAP than most Americans.

    June 30, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. OrmondGeorge

    "NEW Can Hillary Clinton relate to you?

    Far better than any of the myriad Ultra "Right" wingNUTS that will run in 2016.
    Far better than Chris Christie who looked good till the bridge thing.
    Far better than Rand Paul
    Hillary isn't perfect, but she is head and shoulders above what any Republican (so far) has to offer.

    June 30, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. Tony

    McRCN, everything is relative. At least Hillary has to give speeches to get the money. Romney said in 2011 that he was "unemployed," but apparently he still has more money than the Clintons.

    June 30, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. LDR

    I would really like to understand who they polled on this? Who ever it is, must either have money or they are just plain stupid. I don't think Hillary understands me? Does she really understand the choices that I have to make each month? Do I pay the power bill this week or wait, while I pay the gas bill and then pay this one next week so I can buy food. She does not understand those choices. She does not understand the middle class. None of them do, no political candidate does, and those who claim to, should have to live on a middle class salary for a year so they can get a taste of what it is like. I am not a democrat nor a republican nor a tea party nor any party. I vote for whom I think is the least dis-honest. And that is getting harder and harder to do.

    June 30, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. Jeff

    She has the personality of a brick but CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, the NY Times and MSNBC will make sure she is the Democratic nominee.

    June 30, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. BUD

    How does anyone relate to others considering all the differences in people and their lives?
    White,Black,Asian,religious or not,etc.
    The main thing is to understand that differences are there and It is obvious she knows that.

    June 30, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  17. George

    Who did they poll her family and the local liberals?

    June 30, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. JohnInCA

    She will never relate to me. Should have been smart enough to oppose the Iraq war deception and spoken out about her own husband's infidelity. She's just another rich Beach who will vote for her rich campaign benefactors and ignore the rest of us. She won't get my vote and I will actively market someone closer to real people with simple solutions that will energize a market economy that is rigged by wealthy investors.

    June 30, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. tinykhan

    How many Presidential candidates can relate to the common person? Ummmmmm....NONE. So end the silly debate.

    June 30, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. Ken

    It really doesn't matter what bafoon the DNC props up on the pedestal. Until the 50+ million American's who are ensnared in the welfare trap wake up and realize that the true party that is keeping them down is the one they are currently supporting. For those who aren't aware a fully subsidized citizen who lives in the Washington DC is receiving ~61K pre tax dollars yearly in handouts (welfare, food stamps, housing subsidies, Obama phones, health care, electriciy discounts etc...). Wake up America! The Social Security system is going bankrupt. The DNC would rather screw those of us who have worked hard and done the right things having money witheld from our checks with the wink wink gaurantee that those dollars would be there when we retire. Instead of saving the Social Security system they willl do whatever they have to do to keep the unemployable comfortable sucking off the Federal Gov't teet. The reason for this is 50+ million gauranteed voters in their coffer.

    June 30, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. Gunderson

    WELL OF COURSE SHE CAN RELATE !,
    Don't ya remember Bill deducting his used under ware from his taxes! Now that is relating!

    June 30, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. iceload

    "her record defending the middle class "speaks for itself." You mean her record of doing nothing for the middle class? She probably employs a couple. She might even talk to one or two. The only "unartful" thing she did was expose the real Hillary and her definition of "well off".

    June 30, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    "Actually, it was conservatives who made Romney's wealth a campaign issue, not liberals. Conservatives constantly leveled the ridiculous charge that liberals were "jealous" of Romney's wealth, which explained why liberals accused Romney's wealth as the cause for him being so out of touch with average Americans. Liberals were talking about Romney not being able to relate, while conservatives dismissed the opinion as jealousy over Romney's great wealth."
    ---------------------------–
    Let me give an example of just how ridiculous the jealousy counter argument sounded. Instead of wealth, let's talking about business suits. Mitt Romney has always worn dark suits his entire life. Liberals say that he has no clue what it is like to wear a lightly colored suit. The conservative counter argument is this, "You liberals envy him for his dark suits."

    June 30, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. gustifer53

    The Republican and Tea Party's are grasping at straws. Hillary has Karl rove and the boys squirming on their toilet seats. I love it. It's like a first time fire drill where no one knows exactly what to do except to run scared. Which is what they are doing on the Right. Quit digging your candidates for all political offices mainly POTUS out of the Outhouse and maybe you wouldn't have to stress so much. All of your Party's candidates has used up has bens. Need some new blood. How many times has losers like Trump, Perry, Santorum, Paul, McCain and others have ran for POTUS and they are lucky to survive the first month. I do give them credit for being persistent. They are like a fly trying to land on your hamburger, persistent. Now you will also have guys running that couldn't get elected to the PTA, Ted Cruz, Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Jeb Bush now he's a real laugher, like anyone in the USA honestly wants another Bush in the White House, these guys have zero chance of being elected and then there's the sore loser of 2012 My Offshore bank accounts Mutt Romney, wow he must like taking a beaten, sounds like he has his hard hat in the clown circle. Good luck with that crop...lol

    June 30, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. really

    no! Hillary can't relate ...and to be fair neither will any other rich elitist presidential candidate from these two parties.

    June 30, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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