June 29th, 2014
06:22 PM ET
7 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.

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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.


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. TomGI

    According to Ralph Nader's radio show last Saturday, not if people go beyond the PR spew her and her 'team' kick out. He refers to her as operating in the Al Gore realm. Saying so many things on so many topics she will be unable to remember them all when debating to confronted by trained media interviewers. She'll 'step in it' and her credibility will slide lower and lower. Ralph pointed out she recently sent out a PR release saying she is reading dozens of books every month. Ralph says the press will remember that and quiz her later trying to disprove her statement. If they 'out' her BS they will make a big deal out of it. More so than her poor decisions as a Senator and Cabinet member. He believes she is in for a real rough time once the campaign starts.

    June 30, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. MarieEricsson

    I don't "relate" to the Average American either. Can't stand gangsta-rap, have no respect for religious extremism, have a graduate degree, am not seriously obese, think guns are for killing people and not much else and can't stand Duck Dynasty or Here Comes Honey-Boo-Boo. Hilary is better off not relating to them either.

    June 30, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Mike

    She has admitted that she hasn't even drove a car in years! I don't think many people are chauffeured around or can afford a taxi everyday.

    June 30, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. Zane

    Hillary has more fumbles than trying to hide her personal wealth. Where was this poll taken, the DNC?

    June 30, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. dave

    Jobs is the top issue. Clinton's idea for creating more jobs is to bring in more workers. If creating jobs was that easy we could create billions of jobs, the World has 9 billion people. If that's Clinton's job plan, I can't relate to such nonsense. We may as well draw up impeachment papers for Clinton, because you can be assured that she has no intention of enforcing our immigration and labor laws, just as all Presidents in the past did not enforce them. We are suffering the consequences now of years of not enforcing immigration and labor laws. It's why they say that laissez faire never works. Clinton needs to research and study the Office of President, most of it is about enforcing laws, almost all of it.

    June 30, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. ThisIsAbsurd

    A vote for Hillary should come with a mandate for psychological evaluation; obviously you are short in the grey-matter realm if you think this fraud can run a country.

    June 30, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Brian

    If you think you can "relate" to someone who makes $225,000 for an hour of talking (about anything), then you're not being even remotely honest and you're just 1000% partisan for partisan sake.

    Doctors school themselves for 12+ years to then license, practice, and work a solid YEAR of more than 2,000 hours before they come close to what Hillary can pull down after a lunch and before dinner that same day. And that's DOCTORS.

    Of course she couldn't possibly "relate" to any of us. It actually goes against EVERYTHING Democrats have stood for for decades. What changed, Democrats, what changed? And WHAT is your new slogan going to be?......"We like very old, very rich, very elite, very white, and very out of touch leaders?"

    June 30, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. guest

    "why would we not want another 4-8 years just like the 8 disastrous years obama has given us?"

    right wing nut jobs apparently post comments from the future now. I knew they would evolve, what with them telling us constantly how much better they are than the 'rest' of us.

    June 30, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. nuclear mike

    That would be a negative on Ms. Clinton relating to our Families.

    The Country does NOT need a husband & wife as POTUS and more than the Country needed a Father & Son as POTUS.

    June 30, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. DV

    Sure, she can relate. We both no longer live in New York because we don't have jobs there. Problem is, she left on her own after using the state to further her career which is why my career came to an end. Great job madam cold. You really helped out all the workers in Rochester NY. General Motors GONE, Kodak GONE, Bausch and Lomb GONE, Xerox about GONE. Ya, you can relate.....

    June 30, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. subzero

    I have no party......... Democrat and Republican leaders are very rich too relate to anyone.......We are facing layoffs everyday and all they worry about is being elected......to increase US off shoring. So companies can get wealthier and they can spend millions of dollars on there reelection campaign. I AM DONE AND WILL NOT VOTE ANYMORE, No more YES WE CAN BS from Democrats or lets go to war republicans.

    June 30, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. richard dee

    If Miss Hillary is elected, the Republicans will surely get elected in 2020. With Hillary, it will be status quo and nothing more.

    June 30, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. Doug

    I doubt it, she is way above me in the 1 per cent category. Our lives are terrific, I cannot even fathom having her kind of money.

    June 30, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. Joan

    As a lifelong, hard working, middle class, voting democrat; I do not relate to Hillary Clinton, and I know there is no way she can relate to me and my family. Hillary is too far out of touch with America's needs to be our next Democratic President. Hillary, please step aside and give us a candidate we can vote for in 2016.

    June 30, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. Dean

    Poll: Majority believes that average American works at Starbuck's and lives with parents.

    June 30, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Having read in another of CNN's defense/promotion articles that the Clinton's, "had no place to live when they left the White House" – I appreciate the fact that they know what it's like to live in a car.

    June 30, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. FZMello

    Most Americans? Are most of us in marriages of convenience? As First Lady, she couldn't even tend to the President's needs. How's she supposed to tend to the needs of a whole country? Screwed up Benghazi, then ran from the potential political tarnish from her own actions. Do most of us claim to be "broke" while earning millions? Get chauffeured around in limousines? Make up stories about sniper fire? Make hundreds of thousands on shady real estate deals that we can't seem to remember the details of? Get real.

    June 30, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC


    She has admitted that she hasn't even drove a car in years! I don't think many people are chauffeured around or can afford a taxi everyday.
    Actually, that fact has almost nothing to do with her personal wealth. As First Lady, both she and Bill were driven everywhere they went. As a former First Lady, she and Bill were still accommodated secret service protection, and she was a sitting U.S. Senator. She spent four years as Secretary of State, which no doubt meant she was not behind the wheel of a car. Pres. Obama has not driven a vehicle in years.

    June 30, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Lardoggy

    Dana,sure they support Hillary,remember she is poor,we all live just like her,LOL!

    June 30, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Natrldiver

    I guess I am not an average American than. I have to work hard each day to ensure my basic needs are met and that my children's basic needs are met. I will never be able to pay their way through college. Her life, like most politicians, has been privileged whereas most Americans have to fight to survive everyday.

    Hillary cannot relate at all.

    June 30, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Dan

    The question was; can she relate to me. And the answer is "no". She is completely out of touch with people and reality. The ONLY reason she wants to run is for her ego and to gain power

    EVERYTHING is ALL about her 100% of the time

    June 30, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. bob smith

    Hillary can only relate to grumpy old people like the GOP. She doesn't stand a chance in 2016. of course by focusing on her non stop the GOP only proves they can't relate to anyone else either.

    June 30, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Marty

    This woman has little experience where she could relate to the average working person. Some minor time working as an attorney. The entire family has been in public housing and a save no accountability government job for a number of years.

    June 30, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. petena

    What with all the attacks on Hillary lately? Just because she is an intelligent woman that is not about to take crap from people and might run for president people are attacking her now. Give it a rest please.

    June 30, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    google clinton, lenny davis, honduras, coup, 2006, undocumenyed children....

    June 30, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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