U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attend the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Feb. 6, 2014.
Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

Michelle Obama’s popular… except with conservative Republicans


First Lady Michelle Obama is pretty popular, except with conservative Republicans. 

That’s the takeaway from the Pew Research Center’s polling, which matched First Lady Michelle Obama’s latest popularity numbers against her recent predecessors at the same point in their time.

Michelle Obama enjoys a relatively high 68% favorability rating, better than her husband and many other figures in Washington. Fewer than three in 10 people have an unfavorable view of her. But among conservative Republicans, that changes wildly. With that group, her unfavorable rating nearly doubles her favorable, 56% to 29%.

Her immediate predecessor enjoyed slightly higher, but mostly similar, favorability ratings with the general public with a 74% favorability rating. But liberal Democrats did not have the same distaste for former First Lady Laura Bush when she occupied the East Wing. With that group, Bush enjoyed 51% favorability and a mere 24% unfavorable rating.

There is one first lady, however, who enjoyed even less good favor from the opposing party’s members after as many years of living in the White House: Hillary Clinton. Long before she became Secretary of State and even before she was a Senator from New York, Clinton was disliked by 71% of conservative Republicans and liked by only 16%. That might be in part because of the high profile role she took from an early point in her husband’s presidency. 

But the current first lady still fares far better than her husband with the conservative Republican subset, who dislike him by an 11-to-1 ratio, 88% to 8%. 

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama's popular... except with conservative Republicans