At Least Michelle's Still Popular

First lady's approval rating soars over her husband's
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2010 1:13 PM CST
At Least Michelle's Still Popular
The official portrait of first lady Michelle Obama, taken in the Blue Room of The White House in Feb. 2009.   (AP Photo/The White House, Joyce N. Boghosian, File)

(Newser) – President Obama’s approval ratings are sinking, but Michelle Obama’s remain sky-high, with 71% of the country holding a favorable opinion of her. Only 16% of respondents in a new Pew Research survey held a negative view of the first lady. That puts her well above Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, who had 60% and 64% favorability ratings, respectively, after their husbands had been in office for 1 year.

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Even Republicans on balance approve of Michelle Obama—50% had a favorable view of her, against 36% unfavorable. The first lady’s approval rating has stayed relatively constant all year, rising from 68% at the inauguration to a high of 76% before settling to its present level. The president, by contrast, still holds a relatively high 65% favorability rating, but that’s down 14 points from his 79% high in January. (Read more Michelle Obama stories.)

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