It’s still too early to know how a Bush-Clinton 2016 match up would go, but when it comes to the most popular First Lady we already have the results: It’s a tie.
Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton each earned support from 27% of respondents in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll asking Americans to name the first lady they most admire. Current First Lady Michelle Obama came a close third with 24% of the vote, while her predecessor Laura Bush came in fourth with 17%.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a a split among partisan groups. Democrats are more likely to name Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton, and have a slight preference for the current first lady (42%) over the possible 2016 presidential candidate (39%). Republicans are more likely to name a Bush, with 45% naming Barbara Bush as their favorite and Laura Bush winning 36% of the vote.
Among independents, Barbara Bush and Clinton are nearly tied again 28% to 27%.
African-American respondents were more likely to name Obama as their most admired first lady, choosing her over Clinton by a 28-point margin. Clinton takes the top spot among Latinos, with 45% naming her over Obama at 29%. Whites were more likely to name Barbara Bush (33%), followed by Clinton at 24%, Laura Bush at 21%, and Obama at 18%.