Poll: Independents Split Over Whether Hillary Can Relate to Average Americans

Monday, 30 Jun 2014 07:40 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Most Democrats believe that Hillary Clinton feels empathy to the plight of average Americans, according to a new poll.

But The Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Annenberg survey shows that independents are fairly divided over whether the former first lady can understand and relate to the problems of struggling Americans.

The people who took part in the poll were asked whether the potential Democratic presidential front-runner can "relate to and understand the problems of average Americans" as well as other presidential candidates can, considering her "position and economic circumstances."

More than 4 out of every 5 Democrats, 86 percent, said that Clinton does empathize with the struggle of Americans as much as other possible candidates, while 10 percent thought she could not relate as well as others.

However, the findings showed only 46 percent of independents believed that Hillary could relate to the difficulties faced by Americans as well as other candidates, while 44 percent believe that she does not empathize with Americans as well as others.

When it comes to Republicans, Clinton fared worse, with 68 percent saying she does not understand the hardship of average Americans, while 27 percent believed that she relates to their problems as well as other candidates.

The poll also showed that 7 out of every 10 blacks or Hispanics believe that Clinton relates to average Americans as much as other potential candidates. She had her highest marks among people who earn less than $100,000 per year, according to the study.

Overall, 55 percent of the respondents said Clinton relates to average Americans as well as other candidates, while 37 percent said she didn’t.

The survey of 592 people took place between June 26 and June 28, and has a margin of error of 5.1 percentage points.

The poll was conducted following Clinton’s attempts to downplay the wealth that she and her husband Bill Clinton, have amassed since he ended his second term as president.

In an interview with Diane Sawyer of ABC News, Clinton said they were "dead broke" after they left the White House. In an interview with The Guardian, she said they were not "truly well off" compared to other very wealthy Americans, while adding that they paid "ordinary" income taxes.

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