Melania Trump's popularity rating overtakes Donald's as she makes rare appearance at White House event

Nick Allen
Mrs Trump talked about growing up under communism and coming to America as an immigrant at the IWD event - Copyright (c) 2017 Rex Features. No use without permission.

America appeared to be warming to Melania Trump as a new poll showed the first lady is now popular than her husband.

Mrs Trump's latest approval rating stood at 52 per cent, surging 16 points from the day President Donald Trump was sworn in on Jan 20.

The president's approval rating was currently 45 per cent, according to CNN/ORC.

Mrs Trump, 46, has remained out of the limelight, continuing to live at Trump Tower in New York to look after the couple's son Barron during the early days of the presidency.

The Slovenian-born former model hosted an event at the White House on International Women's Day on Wednesday where she talked about growing up under communism and coming to America as an immigrant.

Mrs Trump reads Dr Seuss to sick children for World Book Day

The CNN/ORC poll showed 52 per cent of Americans had a favourable view of Mrs Trump, while 32 per cent had an unfavourable one. Only three per cent had never heard of her, and 12 per cent offered no opinion.

There was a sharp party divide with 86 per cent of Republicans having a favourable view of Mrs Trump, while only 22 per cent of Democrats did.

melania trump - Credit: AFP

Her approval rating still lagged behind that of Michelle Obama who left the White House with 70 per cent of Americans viewing her favourably. That included  93 per cent of Democrats and 50 per cent of Republicans.

At her luncheon on International Women's Day Mrs Trump told an invited all-female audience: "As an immigrant myself, having grown up in a communist society, I know all too well the value and importance of freedom and equal opportunity."

Mrs Trump, who speaks several languages, added: "I continue to firmly believe that education is the most powerful way to promote and ensure women's rights."

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