First Lady More Popular Than President
WASHINGTON - The day after the election, Barack Obama was viewed more favorably by Americans than his wife, Michelle.
Not any more.
A USA TODAY-Gallup Poll taken over the past week shows a surge in positive views of the first lady even as her husband's ratings have eroded. Michelle Obama is now viewed more favorably than the president, and her standing is nearly 50 percent higher than Vice President Biden.
"She has conducted herself as an educated, sensitive, down-to-earth woman - not a black woman, a woman - like when she does the gardening (to promote healthful eating) and taking care of the family," says Rosemarie Tate, 55, a registered dietitian from West Hartford, Conn., who was among those called in the poll. "Those are values that everybody shares."
As the first anniversary of Obama's election approaches, the poll finds:
Barack Obama is viewed favorably by 55 percent, unfavorably by 42 percent. Non-Hispanic whites are evenly split, 49 percent-49 percent, while his rating among blacks is overwhelmingly positive, 90 percent-9 percent.
The day after his election, on Nov. 5, 2008, his overall favorable rating was 68 percent-27 percent.
Michelle Obama is viewed favorably by 61 percent, unfavorably by 25 percent. Her standing among non-Hispanic whites is 57 percent-30 percent; among blacks, it is 91 percent-5 percent.
About a year ago, in a USA TODAY poll taken Sept. 5-7, 2008, her overall favorable rating was 54 percent-30 percent.
Biden is viewed favorably by 42 percent, unfavorably by 40 percent. Down from 59 percent-29 percent last November, that's a steeper fall than his boss.
Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, is viewed favorably by 54 percent, unfavorably by 37 percent. That's a drop from the day after the election, when his ratings were 64 percent-33 percent.
The poll of 1,521 adults, including 933 non-Hispanic whites and 408 blacks, was taken Friday through Monday by landline and cellphone. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the full sample, 4 points for the white subsample and 6 points for the black subsample.