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Melania Trump finishes with worst first lady popularity rating ever

January 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 41.5%. 2 min read.

Much has been written about President Donald Trump's historically low popularity ratings as he leaves office. But the tarnish on the Trump brand goes beyond the President.

(CNN)Much has been written about President Donald Trump's historically low popularity ratings as he leaves office.

Melania Trump leaves the White House with the worst popularity rating for any first lady at the end of her term in polling history.

The latest CNN/SSRS poll had Trump's favorable rating at 42% to a 47% unfavorable rating.

The 47% is the highest unfavorable rating we ever recorded for Trump.

The average first lady's final popularity rating before Trump was 71% with an unpopularity rating of 21%.

That means the average net popularity rating for these first ladies was +50 points.

Now, the ratings for Nixon, Betty Ford and Rosalynn Carter were taken before their husband's final month in office and the questions asking about popularity were worded differently than Trump's question.

Even if we take these first ladies out of the equation, we get a very similar 70% favorable and 23% unfavorable average final rating since Nancy Reagan in 1989.

In fact, the only first lady to leave office with a net popularity rating below +40 points was Hillary Clinton.

Her net favorability rating of +13 points (52% favorable and 39% unfavorable) in a January 2001 CNN/Time/Yankelovich Partners poll still easily beat Trump's final rating.

But Trump's low ratings precede her time in office.

She's frequently featured relatively low net popularity ratings, dating back to when her husband was running for president in 2016.

Her final favorable rating in a January 2009 CNN/ORC poll was 67% to a 20% unfavorable rating.

Bush's favorable rating was 35% in the same poll.

In fact, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama (69% favorable rating) both finished with popularity ratings about average for departing first ladies.

Of course, no first lady this century has ever left office with the 85% favorable rating of Barbara Bush in 1993.

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