Earlier this week, the national consulting company released the results of its “Most Admired Man and Woman” poll for the 71st time since 1946, when World War II Gen. Douglas MacArthur took first place and women were not asked. This year, Michelle Obama earned second place, ahead of Oprah Winfrey and Elizabeth Warren. In the men’s category, Barack Obama was voted most admired, one place ahead of Donald Trump.
Results were based on phone calls with 1,049 people during the month of December and interviewees were asked the questions, “What woman that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world, do you admire most? And who is your second choice?”
Despite Melania’s modest profile (she moved into the White House only five months after the president took office, and she’s been criticized for a vague antibullying platform), her popularity is indisputable.
“Melania Trump’s favorable rating has risen 17 percentage points since January to 54 percent as she has become better known in her role as first lady,” Gallop’s press release stated. “In contrast, a majority of Americans continue to view President Donald Trump unfavorably — his current unfavorable rating of 56 percent is nearly identical to January’s rating of 55 percent.”
The press release also notes that in January, 37 percent of Americans disapproved of Melania, while 37 percent held her in favor and 26 percent had no opinion. “Now, in Gallup’s first measure of Melania Trump since she became first lady, the percentage with no opinion of her is down to 13 percent, while her favorable rating is up and her unfavorable rating has dipped slightly to 33 percent.”
Gallup adds one caveat to explain why Melania is more popular than the president. “This is likely because a first lady’s role is more ceremonial and generally much less divisive than that of the president.”
However, unlike Michelle Obama, whose love for affordable brands such as J.Crew made her seem relatable and her famous biceps signaled her devotion to combating America’s obesity epidemic, Melania Trump has been controversial as a fashion figure .
Melania has also made waves for appearing unrelatable — during multiple trips to Texas and Puerto Rico to assess hurricane damage, she was slammed for wearing stilettos that were deemed inappropriate for the occasion. And in September, she was ridiculed on social media for wearing a hot-pink Delpozo dress to give an antibullying speech at the U.N.
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