Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Favorable First Lady

Probably the most popular person in Washington doesn’t even hold elective office. Fully 71% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the first lady of the United States. Just 16% express an unfavorable view. Michelle Obama is more popular than either her husband, President Obama, orher two predecessors. In their respective first years as first lady, 64% of Americans had a favorable view of Laura Bush (July 2001) and 60% saw Hillary Clinton favorably (May 1993). While Clinton was a more partisan figure (50% of Republicans had an unfavorable impression of her), Michelle Obama is seen favorably by a 50%-to-36% margin among Republicans. She is overwhelmingly popular with independents (70% favorable, 16% unfavorable) and is universally so among Democrats (91% favorable, 2% unfavorable). And while her husband has seen a drop in his favorability (from 79% in January 2009 to 65% in November), opinions about the first lady have changed only slightly; from 68% in January, up to 76% in April and back down to 71% in December. Read More