Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with people during a book signing for her new book, 'Hard Choices' at a Barnes & Noble on June 10, 2014 in New York, N.Y.
Dennis Van Tine/Geisler-Fotopres/Picture-Alliance/DPA/AP

Most Americans think Hillary Clinton can relate to average people


Conservatives jumped at the chance to call Hillary Clinton unrelatable to working Americans after she declared that she and her husband were “dead broke” after leaving the White House in 2001, but a new poll published Sunday shows just the opposite.

Fifty-five percent of Americans say that Hillary Clinton – widely considered the 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner – can relate to and understand the problems of average citizens as well as other presidential candidates can, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll.

By comparison, 37% of respondents disagreed, saying she can’t relate as well as other candidates can.

Weekends with Alex Witt, 6/29/14, 3:39 PM ET

Hillary relatable with most Americans: Poll

Alex Witt talks to senior editor Beth Fouhy about the relatability of Hillary Clinton and how it will play into her possible 2016 run.
Alex Witt talks to senior editor Beth Fouhy about the relatability of Hillary Clinton and how it will play into her possible 2016 run.
Last week, former President Bill Clinton defended his wife at a Clinton Global Initiative event in Denver, insisting that she is “not out of touch” and has long championed policies that help the poor and middle class.

He did acknowledge that his spouse didn’t “give the most adept answer.”

Earlier this month, Clinton told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer that she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House in 2001. And last weekend, Clinton told the Guardian that she’s not “truly well-off” compared to the wealthiest Americans.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the Clinton “show” is giving Americans “Hillary fatigue.” 

“This early run for the White House is going to come back and bite them, and it already is,” Priebus said.

Despite Republican strategists’ plans to capitalize on these flubs, the general public – and especially Democrats – don’t seem fazed by the comments.

Roughly 86% of Democrats said Mrs. Clinton can relate “as well” as other candidates, with 10% saying she could not relate as well as the others. Republicans, on the other hand, are steadfast in painting the former secretary of state as unrelatable: Sixty-eight percent said she does not relate to average Americans, compared to 27% who said she relates as well as other candidates.


The poll of 592 people has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.1 percentage points.