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. Lurker

    she claims to be broke and these MORONS believe she can relate. no wonder this country is in a downward spiral

    June 30, 2014 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  2. Robjh1

    Better question can any politician relate to the voters?

    June 30, 2014 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  3. Phil T. Listener

    Whether she can relate to us or not is not the question to me. She is a shrewd politician with a huge ego who can not admit when she makes a mistake. I don't trust her, as she stretches the truth or outright lies. As a long time democrat, and now an independent, I hope the party nominates someone else I can trust a little more, and who can win the election. I don't want to vote for her, but I will not vote republican with the clown group out there now.

    June 30, 2014 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  4. elle

    I know she doesn't relate to me at all.

    June 30, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  5. Bill

    I feel bad for our country.The posters here that are complaining about the validity of the poll,are the "karl Rove" followers, who only trust their own set of facts.Which of course,are not facts,but denial.

    June 30, 2014 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  6. tom l

    I think it's totally cool how she has her speaking fees "donated" to her foundation so she can sidestep any taxes that she would have to pay as earned income. And the gang complains about Mitt Romney not paying taxes with zero proof...

    June 30, 2014 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  7. muhfreedoms1911

    Poll: Majority think the Kardashians can relate to average Americans

    June 30, 2014 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  8. mkuske

    I went to search NBC News to find the survey and apparently they don't even know they have one. Yet again #NBCNewsFail

    June 30, 2014 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  9. Michael

    They are only reporting a fraction of the story.. here is more and its incomplete.

    Asked which president of the past 25 years they admired most, some 42% of respondents named Mr. Clinton in the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Annenberg Survey. That was more than twice the share that named any other president.

    The other three presidents of the quarter century all polled about the same: 18% said they most admired President Barack Obama; 17% named George W. Bush; and 16% named his father, George H. W. Bush.

    The survey is one in a series of polls done by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News in collaboration with the Annenberg Public Policy Center, a research center at the University of Pennsylvania.

    The poll of 1,238 adults was conducted June 2-8. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points among adults.

    June 30, 2014 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  10. Tigerflower

    The question isn't whether or not Ms Clinton can relate but rather, "What does the GOP plan to do about the fact that I already know that they can't?"

    June 30, 2014 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  11. John Faccett

    Absolutely! The fact that her and I haven't driven a car since 1996 definitely hits a familiar note for me and the other 1%'s.

    June 30, 2014 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  12. Winning

    Conservatives are never going to understand why this is, and why Romney couldn't do the same. It is part of the same reason why they keep losing the popular vote in national elections. They only understand their base, but the moderate American voter is a complete mystery to them.

    June 30, 2014 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  13. Merle McClung

    You RWNJs can't have it both ways - you claimed she hasn't enough experience in one post then condemn her as a career politician in another. You don't like her, we get that. All the same, you should practice your "Madam President".
    CNN, must you make weeks of stories about this? Must you publish word for word the GOP press releases? There's nothing here, please move along.

    June 30, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  14. Winston Smith

    Question: What is a common American? Are common Americans not given the tools to make themselves more than common? What makes the so called common American, think he's got a friend in those who keep asking if they believe they are common, or not common. Seems those asking the question about who's better equipped to represent the common American, are asking this question not in an effort to come to a proper answer about who is of who is not common, but have the agenda to drive wedges between those who'd vote in such a way that would run counter to the desires of those asking the question. The real question needed here is as follows. Who's ready heal the divisions within the nation, as opposed to tearing the nation apart for nothing more than political gain. Here's where you'll find you needed leaders. People with the desire to build, not destroy.

    June 30, 2014 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  15. Mr. Izz

    Can she relate? No. She's now a lifetime politician. Lies, wealth, and power is what she seeks. These little "gaffes" as CNN keeps calling them are all out lies. Again, as is said hundreds of times, if it were a Republican candidate saying these things, their potential run for president would already be over. Since it is the almighty Hillary, she needs to be protected, she is the next savior. Just like Obama.

    June 30, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  16. Prez from MIchigan

    Hahahhahhahaha whaaaaat? Not even close.

    June 30, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  17. skinnyminnie

    Republicans$-Please stop whining about the Clintons' wealth! After all,you are the party of wealth and privilege!

    June 30, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  18. furianxo

    If American's are dumb enough to elect this woman as president, then we are surely on a path of destruction. As a matter of fact, i hope she does run for president, because I honestly believe we as a country still have a majority of sane people left/

    June 30, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  19. gop Industrial Complex

    Anybody could better relate to the average American better than the gop. You can be affluent and still hear the voices of the poor, downtrodden, and disadvantaged. The gop always talk as if they speak for all Americans this is a fantasy itself when the majority of Americans have an unfavorable view of them.

    June 30, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  20. Fred

    No. Hillary can't relate to the "Average" American. But then again, none of the other potential Candidates can relate to the "Average" American either. That's what happens when you have Million$...especially $150 million, receiving $225,000 from a speaking engagement at a Public University.

    ~ N

    June 30, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  21. DCBuck

    Can Hildebeast relate to Americans? Hmmm . . . She makes $200K a pop for blathering speeches; she cozies up to Wall Street and tells them how "misunderstood" they are; and she's gotten to where she is by living off the reflected glory of the man she married. I'd say a big, resounding NO!

    June 30, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  22. joe

    All that Americans can relate to is being stupid. When will Americans honestly consider what is best for the nation vs. voting for someone that will continue the federal government handouts? This nation is loaded with losers that vote based on what they feel they will receive on a monthly basis from government.

    June 30, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  23. Francisco Escobedo

    Of course I can relate to her! But she wll have to wait until I earn my first $100 Million giving speaches, then we can relate perfectly!!

    June 30, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  24. mckune

    Could Romney have related to us? I think not!

    June 30, 2014 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  25. ~Semper Fi~

    LOL.... Right.... Love to see the poll data...
    "What difference, at this point, does it make?"
    Those that would vote for her, would do so on gender in the same fashion they voted for Barack on color... Who in his own right doesn't relate to the average working class American citizen...

    June 30, 2014 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
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