June 29th, 2014
06:22 PM ET
1 month 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. jack

    I believe she can relate. Hillary much like most of the country is morally bankrupt.

    June 30, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. Loki

    No. I don't want to hear her and Bill talk about income inequality and tax loopholes, when they take advantage of all of them. You don't have to "dodge" taxes simply because you can.

    June 30, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. Rooney

    I cant believe that anyone would vote for Hillary Hopefully there is a better Democrat canidate out there that will run.

    June 30, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Justin

    Rudy NYC

    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.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    So being born wealthy is a disqualifier for the Oval Office, but accumulating wealth is not? Sounds like more liberal fallacies to me.

    The bottom line is wealth was never an issue with any of the Presidentail candidates until the Democrats made it an issue in 2012.

    But like much of the rhetoric on both sides is "Do as I say not as I do" It is all just smoke and mirrors. I think America has Bush and Clinton fatique, we need someone different.

    Libertarian leaning candidate, that believes in the US Constitution above all else. Also it would be refreshing to have a candidate to declare that they only plan on serving 1 term. That way they can focus on what they need to do to execute their office, instead of only working their 1st 2 years, then the 2nd 2 years is all about campaigning again.

    June 30, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Babyboomer says:
    June 30, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am
    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…

    ICAM!!!👏👏 That's exactly how I feel.

    June 30, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. Chalupa

    I look at Hilary's life, and there is no way she can relate to the life that I've lived, nor the lives of most other Americans. This much is obvious to me, and it is shocking that it isn't obvious to most Americans.

    June 30, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. Jay

    Isn't politics grand. She hasn't even said she's running for President and the attacks are noticeable by a 10 year old. Shouldn't this be on TMZ?

    June 30, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. You Got It

    She can relate to the average American like British Royalty understands what it's like to be hungry – NOT.
    She's a professional politician, it's all smoke and mirrors, and she doesn't care about anything except getting elected.

    June 30, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. capnmike

    However she relates to me, I am sure it would be far far better than some elitist, warmongering, job-exporting corporate shill, arrogant country club pig Republican.

    June 30, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. eclant

    Hilary Clinton relates to the average human about as much as you relate to a bug crushed on a summer windshield....Inside Every Liberal Is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out.

    June 30, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. liberal disease

    yes i would respect her more if she said politics pays very well and you don't even need a successful track record of accomplishments

    June 30, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  12. mister

    If Hillary can relate to average Americans, I guess I don't know many of those.

    June 30, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. sifto

    I fail to see how she relates to people..that said, it does not mean she would make a bad pres because she is filthy rich..the reason is because she lies and makes things up..

    June 30, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. CabRene

    Empathy for the common man and woman? Where do you find that? Princess Diana had more empathy for the sick and downtrodden. Mother Theresa had tremendous empathy and lived her life of sacrifice with compassion to others. I don't get Hilary and empathy in the same sentence. Please don't vote for someone because you think you want the first woman president and you'll take any woman you can get. And don't vote for her because you think she has empathy. She is a bit of a viper.

    June 30, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. rogue351

    I can relate to a person that believes in human rights for everyone, Women, gay non white. A person that represents a party that is more for the middle class, healthcare, good jobs and not just the ownership of a gun. Not a party that does not side with their own government but sides with individuals that breaks laws, discriminate and kill police officers leaving Nazi flags behind. I could side with a party that is open to all religions or non, not just Christian giving Christians ultimate say over the governance of the country. So, Yes Clinton does stand for what America is really about and I could get behind her. I also don’t think she will start two more of Americas longest wars just so big corps can make more money off of making and selling arms.

    June 30, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. Lucas

    Hillary can't relate to anyone. She doesn't do her own laundry. She doesn't drive her own car. She doesn't do her own shopping. She is escorted by secret service agents everywhere she goes. She gets paid six figures for EACH public speech she makes.
    She's part of the old, corrupt block of Washington D.C. that sucks money out of the pockets of struggling Americans and then has the audacity to claim "I can relate to you!"
    I hope the GOP finds a better candidate to vote for.

    June 30, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. The Truth Hurts

    Come on people – don't you know she's DEAD BROKE???

    June 30, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. mstipton

    I still think she's better than anything the Republicans can trot out.

    June 30, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Justin posted:

    So being born wealthy is a disqualifier for the Oval Office, but accumulating wealth is not? Sounds like more liberal fallacies to me.

    The bottom line is wealth was never an issue with any of the Presidentail candidates until the Democrats made it an issue in 2012.
    ---------------------------
    I didn't say that being born into wealth is a dis-qualifier. You did. You're all but making the jealousy argument. I said Romney's great wealth has caused him to be out of touch. There are plenty of wealthy people who are out of touch with the average worker.

    June 30, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Climate Scam

    If CNN has to run articles saying that Countess Hillary von Clinton can relate to average Americans then in all likelihood, she probably does not. She had better be careful, Americans don't like to be told that someone is "entitled" to be the next president. Voters have a nasty habit of slapping "entitled" people down on election day.

    June 30, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. eclant

    " In the place of a Dark Lord you would have a Queen! Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the Morn! Treacherous as the Seas! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me and despair!" JRR Tolkien.

    June 30, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. Areyoukiddingme

    She has never related to anyone other than the elite and never will.

    June 30, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. ????

    Can we please cease with Affirmative Action method of selecting the next president of the United States? Instead of checking the AFRICAN-AMERICAN or FEMALE check boxes, how about we check the COMPETENT TO BE PRESIDENT box instead.

    June 30, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. Paul

    When did rich lawyer married to former presidents become average?

    June 30, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. Bill

    Well, I'm a complusive lier. Yes, I think the can relate to me.

    June 30, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
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