US First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during an announcement of proposed school wellness standards on February 25, 2014 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
(USA TODAY) - Who's the more popular Obama? Why, first lady Michelle Obama, of course.
Nearly 7 in 10 adults, or 66%, have a favorable opinion of Michelle Obama compared with 52% who view President Obama the same way, according to the Gallup Poll. The first lady's ratings are unchanged from 18 months ago and close to the 72% favorable rating she had when Barack Obama was first sworn in as president in January 2009.
It's not unusual for first ladies to be viewed in a more positive light than their husbands. Laura Bush and her mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, both had better poll numbers than their husbands and their favorable ratings topped 70% while they were in the White House. Gallup says a recent exception was Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose poll numbers were generally lower than President Clinton's until the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Michelle Obama's favorable rating in the Gallup Poll averages 66% (in six surveys), with 25% of adults having an unfavorable view of the current first lady. By comparison, Hillary Clinton's average favorable rating was 56% (in 51 Gallup polls) and 37% unfavorable.
The White House announced Monday that Michelle Obama will head to China later this month for a solo visit without the president. She'll be traveling with daughters Sasha and Malia and her mother, Marian Robinson.
This is what Alyssa Brown of Gallup wrote about why Michelle Obama's favorable ratings are key:
First lady Michelle Obama's positive public image may be an asset as she advocates for major changes to nutrition labels and tries to help Democrats retain control of the Senate in the coming midterm elections.