Gallup polling released today shows first lady Michelle Obama’s popularity ratings, which were much lower during the 2008 presidential campaign, holding steady at 66 percent favorability.
That’s unchanged from two years ago, and generally in line with the trend of Americans viewing the first lady in a positive light.
Laura Bush enjoyed a 73 percent approval rating, while Hillary Clinton had a 56 percent rating as first lady. As secretary of State, though, Clinton enjoys 66 percent favorability.
Democrats give both Obamas 90 percent approval, while 38 percent of Republicans give thumb’s up to the first lady and just 14 percent approve of President Obama. About half of independents approve of Obama and two-thirds approve of the first lady.
Hillary Clinton surpassed President Clinton in favorability after the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
“Given Americans’ positive feelings toward the first lady, it is possible the Obama re-election team will consider using her to campaign on behalf of her husband this election year,” Gallup notes. “But if Michelle Obama were to enter the political arena, it could have a negative effect on how Americans view her — as suggested by the fact that Americans viewed her less positively during the 2008 election year than afterward.”
Michelle Obama has been doing plenty of campaigning thus far, though, hitting the standard notes of the ticket and comparing the president to a “steel trap.”