June 29th, 2014
06:22 PM ET
6 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. CrashTestHomie

    No she cannot relate to me and I cannot relate to her.

    Oh well.

    June 30, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Get used to it fellow bloggers. She's your next POTUS.

    June 30, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. Jcraw

    NO! I had a friend who made millions and after 10 years – she couldn't relate to me. Her reality has changed. She doesn't understand why I can't just go on vacations, buy expensive stuff, don't work if I don't want, etc. Hillary can say she can relate to the average American until she turns blue in her the face but anyone with hundreds of millions of dollars don't live in the average folks reality. Hillary has options – many average Americans don't have options.

    June 30, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Chris

    Can Hillary relate to me? Not unless she's disabled, living on SSI and doesn't make more money in a month than I get in a year.

    June 30, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. mfh

    Lets go for the gold. Hillary and Michelle for 2016. Might as well flush this country down the drain and get it over with. This slow death of our country is agonizing.

    June 30, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. George T Hibs

    The closet doors in Hillary's bedroom have yet to be opened. The skeletons from the Clinton machine will be rolling out onto the streets. Never count your chickens before they hatch and never assume it is a done deal until the proverbial fat lady sings. And I have a feeling this one will be singing like the Four Tops.

    June 30, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. gbreeza

    Of course she doesn't relate. She's literally already been in the White House. She has handled over a million dollars. She is in the elite portion of the country. I don't expect her to relate to me or anyone for that matter. I expect her to come up with he policies that influence education, and the job market.

    June 30, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. I Feel Your Pain Hillary

    Making millions for spewing her garbage to idiots that want to hear it?! Good for her! There is a sucker born every minute. But can she relate to the average person? Of course not. She has lived practically her whole life in the world's most powerful. Did anybody ask HER how much a loaf of bread was? How much her cable bill was? A gallon of milk? I suspect she would flub those questions very badly.

    June 30, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. CharlieH

    She's a liar and those polled are lying that she can relate to them so yes...liars can relate to liars.

    June 30, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. Peter

    Since you can't run for President successfully unless you are a multi-millionaire, I don't think that ANY presidential candidate can ever relate to us!

    June 30, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  11. ABarker

    No, she can't

    June 30, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Mit Romney sure as heck couldn't relate to me!

    June 30, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. dilsbury

    The Clintons are as phony as a three dollar BILL. I want neither one of them working in the US govt. again in my or their lives. We need new blood in the Whitehouse. I really think that Bush stole the election in 2000, but their were ulterior motives with that move. The govt. machine wanted the dummies to be so tired of a Republican by 07, that it would be a shoe in for a black to get elected in 08. Our country is suffering from poor leadership and Clinton himself was not all that great of a president. He just was lucky to have been in office during the tech. boom of the nineties...and face it...BLACKS are just not smart enough to run this country.

    June 30, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Cause republican candidates are known for their ability to relate to the common man

    June 30, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  15. willie wonka

    In general, people don't relate well to those that lie all of the time or fail to accept responsibility for their actions or in-actions.

    June 30, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  16. Jane Mahoney

    In a heart beat!

    June 30, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. judith

    Of course she can relate to me, far, far better than any of the putative GOP candidates. It's high time for a female President and if she's the Democratic candidate I'll support her. We've got to stop the Republican War on Women.

    June 30, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. tom l

    "Greed drives everything, tom. Hobby Lobby had a less than stellar record on providing health benefits for their employees."
    There goes Rudy just saying things and thinking he's not going to be called out for his "misstatements". So, please tell me about their "less than stellar record". I haven't seen any complaints anywhere with regards to their "less than stellar record". So when you reply with the list showing "their less than stellar record" perhaps you can tell me how "greed" has played a part in this. So Hobby Lobby generally pays twice minimum wage to their employees. If they are all about "greed" then why would they do that? Also, they are closed on Sundays which is one of the busiest and most profitable days for them to be open. Why are they closed on those days? Rudy, you are completely wrong about this one. It has nothing to do with greed and everything to do with them standing by their principles that they have run the company on since inception.

    June 30, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    willie wonka

    In general, people don't relate well to those that lie all of the time or fail to accept responsibility for their actions or in-actions.
    Which is exactly why the Grand Old Tea Party has an approval rating in the low 20s, and falling.

    June 30, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. Really

    Hillary can't relate to a mushroom, so how can she relate to the average American.

    June 30, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. Tony

    "Hillary and I see perfectly eye-to-eye. We're on the same wavelenght...It's like she can finish my sentences..."

    –78 year old, brain-damaged kindergarten teacher

    June 30, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. duane - st.pete FL

    Hilary is mean.......

    June 30, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. plusonegolfer

    Didn't her daughter buy a $15M condo in Manhattan. Did she marry that well or did broke mommy and daddy help in some small way...

    June 30, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. duane - st.pete FL

    i never did care one way or the other.....the question is can she do the job and do we trust her......no on both accounts

    June 30, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. JG

    YES ! Hillary can relate to me! The American people trust Hillary. She may be very wealthy, but she knows the everyday struggles of the American people, and she is very qualified to be President. There will be no republican candidate even remotely close to as qualified as Hillary is, take it to the bank.

    June 30, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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