Society

Poll: First Lady's Approval Rating Rises

| by Robert Fowler

New polling indicates first lady Melania Trump's popularity has received a significant boost since the inauguration of her husband, President Donald Trump.

On March 8, a CNN/ORC poll found that 52 percent of respondents held a favorable view of the first lady while 32 percent view her unfavorably.

The fresh data marks a dramatic upswing in her popularity. In February 2016, a survey conducted by the same polling group found that only 24 percent of respondents viewed her favorably, 31 percent unfavorably and that 23 percent were unfamiliar with her.

While the first lady's unfavorability has remained consistent, the latest poll has found that she has become much more well-known, with only 3 percent of respondents stating that they had never heard of her.

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The latest survey also indicates the first lady's popularity received a boost following the January inauguration. Before her husband was sworn in, Melania held a 36 percent favorability rating according to the same polling group.

Breaking down the data, 86 percent of self-identified Republican respondents hold a favorable view of Melania while only 22 percent of Democrats are positive towards her. Perception of the current first lady marks a larger partisan split than that any of her recent predecessors.

In April 2009, CNN/ORC found that 93 percent of Democrats held a favorable view of first lady Michelle Obama while 50 percent of Republicans agreed. A previous survey by the polling group found that 75 percent of Republicans viewed first lady Laura Bush favorably while 42 percent of Democrats also viewed her favorably.

In 1994, 85 percent of Democrats viewed first lady Hillary Clinton favorably while only 34 percent of Republicans also viewed her positively.

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The latest survey also found that 58 percent of male respondents view Melania favorably, while only 46 percent of women agree.

The first lady, a retired model who immigrated from Slovenia, met the president in 1998 and became a U.S. citizen in 2006, according to New York magazine.

Since the inauguration, Melania has been largely out of the public eye, remaining in Trump Tower in New York City with the couple's 10-year-old son, Barron. She is slated to move into the White House after Barron completes his school year. New York officials have estimated the cost of securing Trump Tower for the first lady and first son costs the city more than $1 million per day, according to CNN Money.

On March 8, the first lady visited the White House to host a luncheon in celebration of International Women's Day. She is scheduled to return for the White House annual Easter Egg Roll on April 17.

Sources: CNN (2), CNN MoneyThe New Yorker / Photo credit: U.S. Army Sgt. Kalie Jones/Wikimedia Commons

Will Melania Trump's favorability rating continue to improve?
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