Melania Trump has suffered a double-digit blow to her approval rating, according to a CNN poll released Thursday, with only 43 percent of those polled viewing her favorably.
The poll number of respondents who said they hold a favorable view of the first lady dropped 11 points relative to October, when 54 percent of those polled said they viewed her favorably. Trump’s approval rating hit an all-time high last May, shortly after she hosted her first state dinner, when it reached 57 percent in a CNN poll.
The first lady’s approval rating has fluctuated far more than her husband’s, whose poll numbers have mostly been mired well below 50 percent throughout his two years in office. According to the news analysis and statistics site FiveThirtyEight, President Donald Trump currently has an approval rating of 42.4 percent, and a disapproval rating of 51.6 percent.
A number of factors could have contributed to the first lady’s declining popularity. In October, she was panned as tone deaf when she told ABC News that she was “the most bullied person on the world.” Trump also faced criticism for wearing a pith helmet during her tour of Africa earlier this year, with some suggesting that the the helmet was a representation of European colonial rule over large portions of the continent.
Melania Trump was also widely mocked for her red tree White House Christmas decorations, which have been described as unsettling and compared on social media to “The Shining” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The first lady has defended her decor decisions, saying: “Everybody has a different taste. I think they look fantastic.”
And while the first lady has kept a conspicuously lower profile than many of her predecessors, she has also proven herself an influential voice within the Trump administration, publicly denouncing a top national security official who was ousted shortly afterward.
The first lady lost ground most dramatically with white college graduates and liberals, among whom her approval declined by 17 points each, according to CNN. She remains most popular among older, white, male Republicans and conservatives, according to the poll.
The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS between Dec. 6 and 9, contacting 1,015 respondents via both landlines and cell phones. The poll’s margin of error was plus-or-minus 3.8 percent.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Matthew Choi