First lady Melania Trump is seeing a surge in popularity among the American electorate, according to a recent Fox News poll.
The poll found that 51 percent of voters view the first lady favorably. That’s a 14-point jump in approval since the Fox News poll surveyed voters about her in December.
The poll found that 28 percent view the first lady negatively, while 20 percent are unable to give an opinion.
The poll surveyed a random national sample of 1,017 registered voters from June 25-27.
The first lady is beating her husband, President Donald Trump, in the favorability category, according to the poll. Some 47 percent of voters have a favorable view of the president, compared to 51 percent who view him unfavorably.
The Fox News poll has found the president’s approval rating to be steadily increasing since his election. His approval rating was 44 percent in March, and 38 percent just prior to the November election.
The first lady has enjoyed a surge in favorability across the board since the Fox News poll first surveyed voters in August 2016.
Melania Trump’s favorability among Republicans is up 24 points, among Democrats up 12 points, among men up 17 points, among women up 15 points, among voters under age 45 up 18 points, and among voters above age 45 up 16 points since August 2016.
More men, 55 percent, approve of the first lady than women, 48 percent.
The poll found that there is still a considerable partisan gap in her approval among Republicans, Democrats and independents.
Eighty-two percent of Republicans view the first lady favorably, compared to 26 percent of Democrats who view her favorably. Forty-three percent of independents view Melania Trump favorably.
While the poll is surely a positive sign for Melania Trump, her favorability is dwarfed by that of her predecessor, Michelle Obama.
A record high 73 percent of voters viewed Michelle Obama favorably at about the same point in Barack Obama’s presidency in April 2009.
But Melania Trump is doing better than former first lady Hillary Clinton, who had a favorability rating of about 49 percent during President Bill Clinton’s first year in office.
However, it’s important to note that just days after his inauguration in January 1993, Bill Clinton appointed Hillary Clinton to chair the task force devoted to devising the unpopular 1993 health care reform package.
The New York Times described the assignment at the time as “the most powerful official post ever assigned to a first lady.”
The failure of Hillary Clinton’s health care proposal likely contributed to her low approval ratings. Forty years of Democratic dominance in Congress came to a halt in the 1994 midterms because of strong voter rejection of the Clintons’ proposed policies.
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