Poll: Michelle Obama and Ann Romney more popular than their husbands

ADVERTISEMENT
Last year, Clinton was named the most popular national political figure by two-thirds of Americans in a Bloomberg National Poll with a similar sample size. Many voters surveyed expressed disappointment that she did not win the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

Now Michelle Obama clocks in with a 69 percent favorability rating, with only 24 percent of those polled indicating a strong to somewhat unfavorable impression of her. Clinton, also polled, earned a favorable rating of 65 percent and unfavorable of 27.

Ann Romney, who only recently caught national attention as part of her husband's campaign, appeared on the poll for the first time. The survey found 40 percent of Americans have a positive impression of Romney and 30 percent have an unfavorable one.

That not only makes the first lady more popular than President Obama, it makes Ann Romney more liked than her husband, Mitt, the presumptive GOP nominee this year.

Mitt Romney's favorability among Republicans has grown since Rick Santorum dropped his bid for the White House earlier this month and made Romney the nearly-certain nominee. Polling from the same source has shown an upward trend for Romney since March, especially among conservatives. But in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released last week, only 33 percent said they have a positive view of the former Massachusetts governor versus 36 percent negative. 

Obama's supporters and detractors have been nearly even in recent polls. But he continues to hold a lead over Romney among women and non-white voters, and in a CNN poll released eight days ago, likability was one of the survey areas where Obama had a double-digit lead when compared to Romney. But Obama's approval has been known to swing rapidly in polls, often based on current events. 

It looks like both men could be leaning more heavily on their wives as the general election nears. Both are already deploying their wives on the campaign trail.

The first lady has increased her public appearances as the November vote nears, choosing to appear not only at fundraisers but on popular TV shows ranging from reality weight-loss show "The Biggest Loser" to Nickelodeon's "iCarly." Fox News reported this week that Michelle Obama has done 44 TV appearances in the same amount of time former first lady Laura Bush did 12.

Ann Romney introduces her husband often on the campaign trail and really came into her own during a recent squabble over her status as a hard-working "stay-at-home mom." The demand for Ann Romney among the former governor's supporters is so high that the campaign is currently offering supporters a chance to enter a raffle to eat dinner with her.

"I've been lucky enough to sit across from Ann at the dinner table for 43 years. Now it could be your turn," reads the fundraising email from Romney.

The national survey has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.