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Now, Michelle Obama too is sliding in the polls

Michelle HulaHoopHarazGhanbariap

She's on vacation now in Hawaii, so what does she care?

But as the first calendar year of the new White House regime draws to a close, First Lady Michelle Obama is experiencing the same drop in poll numbers as her husband. She's not elected, of course, and not charged at least officially with making the tough executive decisions that come out of the Oval Office.

As a result, first ladies have typically fared better in different public opinion polls than their more controversial husbands. And now even as the female Harvard lawyer in the family and the one with the famously buff arms, Mrs. O still remains somewhat more popular than her spouse.

(Sarah Palin's favorable poll ratings, btw, have risen steadily in recent months to the mid-40s. But although neither woman holds an elected office, that's something entirely different.)

A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 55% of Americans have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of Mrs. Obama. That's down 7 points, or 11%, since November's survey and it's her lowest approval level since holding the Bible for her Democratic husband, Barack, to take the oath of office on that cold D.C day back on Jan. 20.

Her approval rating is perhaps more interesting than other first ladies because she played such an active and sometimes controversial role in her husband's $750-million campaign and has taken on some high-profile assignments during her husband's early months in ...

... the Oval Office. This includes leading the Chicago delegation to Copenhagen this fall in its unsuccessful bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics and persuading her husband to make a plea there too.

Neither Obama is running for any office in next fall's crucial midterm elections, of course. But declining approval rates for both could indicate not only a general falling out of love with the couple but further electoral trouble for Democratic campaigns during double-digit unemployment and an increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan.

Mrs. Obama's highest approval since Rasmussen began monitoring the first lady's public standing last winter was 67% and her previous low was 57%. Fewer than 1 in 3 Americans (31%) now regard her very favorably.

Thirty-seven percent now regard her unfavorably (17% somewhat unfavorably and 20% very unfavorably). Previous unfavorables ranged from 35% to 24%.

Eighty-five percent of Democrats in the monthly Rasmussen study of the first lady approve of her in that role, 43% of independents and only 33% of Republicans. Women approve of Mrs. Obama much more than men do, but women also see her as more involved in administration policy decisions.

The national telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted on Dec. 20 and 21, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Rasmussen Reports does daily tracking polls of the president's approval. Late last week that Tracking Poll found only 25% of Americans strongly approved of Obama's work as president, while 46% strongly disapproved.

By Rasmussen's method, that gives Obama a minus-21 approval index, the largest gap, meaning greatest disapproval, since he took office with such great hope and promise.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Obama at an autumn physical fitness event. Credit: Haraz Ghanbari / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (239)

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Yes we are taking a second look at the Obamas, I never really cared for them, they just don't look or act very sincere to me. Michelle has those eyes that don't have any expression, and I don't like the way Barak (Barry to us out West) the walk is more like a swagger, and he always has his hands in his pockets. Also the way he salutes when he gets off of Air Force One you can tell he really does'nt know how, like us true patriots who have served our country.

No, Michelle Obama is not "slipping in the polls" but rather a single poll. That organization, Rasmussen, consistently skews its results by surveying a huge amount of white Republicans. It's leader, Scott Rasmuusen, is a regular on Fox News. 'Nuff said.

for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback,

MO is a cow. What's not to like. :rolleyes:


let's all be honest we all gave the Obamas a little more leeway because they are black. I even said maybe if a non wasp took over he would have no strings attached.
However if we take away that leeway he and to a lesser extint she is a typical politician. They promised the world during the campaign and delivered very little . The only difference is the "historic" hype now is the "historic drop" in the poll numbers.

Odd. My opinion of Michelle Obama hasn't changed at all over the last year and a half.
My opinion of her is exactly where it was when she gave her 'for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of America' hate speech.

The woman is so arrogant she actually wore $500 designer sneakers to a Soup Kitchen. Imagine if Palin had done that?

Unlike Michelle Obama, I have ALWAYS been proud of my country. She's no lady and considering her lack of class and dignity, I'm surprised that 55% of Americans have a favorable opinion.

The American people are finally waking up to what these people are all about. They're finally seeing that they were played for fools.

Obama is the most unqualified man ever to be in the Oval Office. Talk about getting into the White House without credentials.

What in the heck is that belt?

My opinion of her has not changed...I did not like her at first sight. Tried to get a warm feeling about her but it just was not happening....the woman is a phoney with a chip on her shoulder...She hates white overly obvious problem for her...and she is one of the MOST ungracious first ladies ever...with exception of possibly Hillary...
Michelle can do only one thing for us...go away and take OBie with her...Biden would be better for the country.
((I can't believe I just said that.))

she is just another big mouthed, clueless, neo-marxist fool. hoax and chains people! You voted for it, and we are all going to get it big time.

I don't believe it's actually Michelle Obama who has lost some favorability, it's just that usually First Ladies have a major cause separate from their husband's causes that stand out, i.e., War on Drugs, Illiteracy, and there does not seem to be a strong one that gets much press if there is. Many folks have only seen the traveling Michelle or mother of young daughters Michelle, which are both admirable, but people expect a First Lady to make their position a "job" and show her working on a regular basis.

Put this into perspective.

Ever since Sarah Palin became national news, the main-stream media have been putting on a full court press to diminish and attack her at every turn. Contrast that with all the love and puff pieces Michelle Obama have enjoyed. Some as ridiculous as the one media person who wrote Michelle Obama is beautiful because she has large biceps.

In spite of all that, Sarah Palin's poll numbers are still climbing to near parity to Barack Obama. This is something that not even the media can stop.

Do polls regarding the First Lady really make for newsworthy "political commentary", or has the readership become so numbed and/or confused by the political environment that with out someone showing them a poll they don't know how to have an opinion. I personally don't really consider First Lady with I am thinking about politics or the direction of our Government, and I have less regard for her polling numbers.

The public had only one perceptions of the Obama's which was what the major TV news outlets presented. Even the NY news medias and Hollywood publicists admitted favorable biasness to automatic catch for the youth vote. But when he had to govern and his far left agenda's didn't make sense in the real world the media simply couldn't cover up it's shortcomings. Thus without a strong media to support the Obama's one can expect their ratings to get even worse.

Americans are realizing they made a grave error when they put these two in the White House. Naively, they overlooked Obama's strange background and her black nationalist dislike of America, both reflected in her undergraduate thesis and what she said was the first time she felt pride in the country..

First of all, why would she have any Poll Ratings anyway? What does SHE do? I mean, besides hiring her buddies for jobs at the White House, and then, when they SCREW UP - (The Party Crashers) - she's claiming EXECUTIVE PRIVILEDGE. How pathetic is that? She wants EXECUTIVE PRIVILADGE for The Hat Check Girl. She's an ARROGANT FOOL, like her husband. She wears $600 Sneakers to a SOUP KITCHEN. How's that for Empathy? And somebody should do her a favor, and tell her to lay off the IRANIAN CAVIAR, a little bit. And take smaller bites of her KOBE BEEF. Cause that Junk in her Trunk, ain't getting any smaller.

Mrs. Obama doesn't like Americans or America anymore than her hubby. Where's the mystery?

I personally have never cared for her since her comments about it being the first time she was proud of America. She says she misspoke but it could have also been a Freudian slip. I don't think she has been or even is proud to be an American now.

Why do Democrat first ladies feel the need to inject themselves into politics? They were not elected! Did Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, or even Nancy Reagan do this? No! But we have Hillary and now Michelle wanting the spotlight.

The media falls all over her but I personally don't find her attractive. She has man hands and man arms and her smile makes me cringe with fear like seeing Jaws from the Bond movies.

Face it, the Democratic Party propoganda machine, i.e., the the American Press, has been trying to sell us on the greatness of the Obama's for two years now. The people are finally seeing through these lies and just aren't buying it anymore.

I have a favorable opinion of her-as long as she keeps her mouth shut and says nothing.

In the words of Ms Angelou (poet)who opinied about the Mona Lisa: "...I've looked into those eyes and I've seen evil."

By her own words she's a racist? Like her useless husband Bambi Obama.

I can't WAIT until we Conservatives clean house in 2010 and impeach this non-hacker. Him and the First Wookie GOT TO GO!

michelle is not a lawyer, at least one with a license. she voluntarily gave up her license for some indiscretion that no one can seem to find. similar to her husband's birth certificate. obama isn't a licensed attorney either. He had to give his up, or rather was taken away because he lied on his affadavit about never having any other aliases. both of them need to slide down those poles and go back to his homeland.

The whole Obama thing is most likely wearing very thin on America's patience. People want more substance, more nit-grit, more work, less fanfare and a whole lot less photo-op fluff from them, starting with the Great Pontificator himself. This entire family seems to have an aversion to actually addressing what's wrong in America and simply digging in to fix it. They appear to be more like actors, well-scripted and rehearsed, looking for the most favorable lighting and posing for the cameras at every turn. We can only wonder who the real writers, producers and directors are behind this depressing extravaganza.

I'll bet her drop in popularity comes from the group that supported these two the most. I'm not naming names, but, the Negro community might be the most displeased by these two. They've risen to the top and so far not much in the way of crumbs have fallen from their plates.

I'm not surprised her rating are falling. I can't believe she was compared to Jackie Kennedy. NO ONE COMES CLOSE TO JACKIE! The mold was broken after Jackie!

When he took office the unemployment rate was 8 or 8.5 percent. It's now over 10 percent. He's a Democrat, the party supposedly for working people.
Where are the jobs? Nowhere. That's why his popularity is gone.

I do not think she cares about the public opinion or polls. As a private citizen, I think the first lady is wonderful, she is a great mother, daughter and wife.

I am sick of all these polls and sick of the media making news, rather than reporting it.

President Obama inherited the worse economy since the great depression and two wars. He is not god, he does not walk on water and he does not have a magic wand to reverse the destruction and incompetency of GWB. It took eight years to get us in this mess and it is going to take time to get us out of this mess.

The economy was falling off a cliff when he was sworn in, since then he worked hard everyday and some critics said, he is trying to do to much. The entire time Bush was in office, he was in Crawford, Texas on vacation. Leave our president and first lady alone and allow him to serve at least one year before you all start scrutinizing each and everything they do.

He is over exposed because of the media!!!

This scam can't last forever

Uhmm...I first want to admit my bias toward anything this democrat theocracy is ramming down our throats. That said, I do not want republicans to promote anti-Michelle attacks against her personally. I am sure she is a great woman in her own right. Princeton and Harvard graduate. Wife of a POTUS. Mother to private school girls. Yes...quite priviledged indeed! If only ALL Americans could take advantage of "opportunities" that she has been afforded!

No..Michelle is dropping in polls because of her guilt by association to a socialist..plain and simple! One that our country will spend a very long time digging ourselves out of for a very long time.

Give the porkulus $$ and all the other fraud $$ back and LOWER the deficit. PALIN 2012- supporting Common Sense.

this clown is as big a scumbag as any! she's proven corrupt since she was given a payola position at axlerod's $350k/year plus perks! this is where she worked with axlerod to deny coverage to less fortunate, black people! there was outrage when she got caught dumping the less fortunate! what a pig! there's hope, though, since i see obamao being impeached as more info about the acorn gang comes out! this will be a GREAT, historical day for America, Americans and FREEDOM around the world!

You guys in L.A. voted him in. Is there any point in pointing out the obvious? Probably not, when you guys wake up from your hypnosis, then we'll talk.

What reason is there to be favorable towards her? She is going on Iron Chef?

She's a nice lady, but her comments about America during the campaign have always left me cold about her motives. She does have leverage on Barrack and does help with policy. I'm sure that he has always relied upon her as most husbands do. As his socialist agenda keeps rolling, the polls will find them both to be pariah and will dwindle in favorablility. We finally are coming to see what was missing in the campaign, that all things are not transparent and that lies abound during these times.

Sheez pretti.

"the female Harvard lawyer in the family"

Wasn't her law license revoked after only 4 years of practicing law? I heard she was placed under court ordered 'inactive' status in the state of illinois? So why don't you butt kisssers in the media do your jobs and bring some real information to the table. Any dope can read Rasmussen polls to see her approval is low. D

Michelle Obama is one ugly monkey. Zero class. Good thing this is just a one term presidency.

Looking forward to ousting the socialists in November 2010!

I believe people are not happy with her and her 22 assistants plus her make-up artist and hair stylist. Enjoy it while you can!

Barak Obama had such a great opportunity when he was elected to truly be a transitional president. He could have done so many good things. I guess he thought he had 4 years to get things done. Surely a man as smart as he knows the first year is crucial. I ache at the months it took to get up and ready, choosing a dog, etc.. The man wasted time and now will most likely be a one term failure. As a gay man, living outside of the mainstream by force, it is heartbreaking.

Is Rasmussen reliable enough to be quoted in the LA Times? It's poll results tend inexplicably to be several points to the right of non-partisan polls, no?

I'm sick and tired of seeing Michelle's dogface on every magazine cover in the grocer's line telling me she's one of the most beautiful people in America.

Even with the best makeup and clothes money can buy, ugly Michelle is average at BEST.

She was never high on my list after she said the mean things about America.
Don't think her arms are that nice either. I could also say she has big hips,
underbite (almost looks like she has snuff in lower lip) and she walks like a
lumber jack. Looks are not the important thing, but the press has said all kinds
of hateful things about Sarah Palin, so this is payback and the truth.

Who cares ?

And just wait until they find out what a really angry and nasty woman she is.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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