Melania Trump Leaves White House With Lowest Favorability Rating Ever, But It's Still Higher Than President's

First lady Melania Trump is set to leave the White House this week after setting a similar record as her husband for having the worst favorability rating in decades.

The last CNN/SSRS poll of Trump family favorability found Melania has the worst popularity rating for a first lady in polling history, setting an all-time record which dates back to Pat Nixon in 1973. The only other first lady to record a net popularity rating below 40 points was Hillary Clinton in January 2001. But even Clinton, who was actively campaigning for her future New York senate seat at the time, still managed a 52 percent favorable versus 39 percent unfavorable ratings. By comparison, Trump's final 47 percent unfavorable rating is the highest of her entire tenure in office.

The first lady's staggering unfavorable rating from a near-majority of Americans is unprecedented in a role which historically made it very difficult to become disliked. Aside from a few gaffes related to her "#BeBest" anti-bullying social media campaign, Melania has remained largely out of the public eye.

As the CNN pollsters note, it is unclear how much the poor exit poll numbers have to do with her relatively quiet presence in the White House compared to President Donald Trump, who leaves office with a historically dismal 34 percent approval rating. But previous spouses of presidents who were very unpopular when they left office, such as Richard Nixon or Jimmy Carter, were able to walk away with their public reputation largely unaffected by their husbands' lack of popularity.

Despite President Carter having a 32 percent approval rating in August 1979, Rosalynn Carter held a positive rating from 59 percent of the country. Donald Trump is set to leave office with a similar 34 percent approval rating, but his first lady was not able to stave off widespread criticism.

Laura Bush and Michelle Obama left office with some of the highest favorable ratings of first ladies in the modern era. Bush even recorded a 67-percent favorable rating that was nearly twice that of husband George W. Bush in January 2009. Obama did not have a higher rating than her husband in January 2017, but still received a 69 percent favorable rating - 27 points higher than her successor, Melania.

None of the aforementioned women in the first lady role were able to top Barbara Bush's January 1993 favorable rating of 85 percent. Incoming first lady Jill Biden's most recent favorable rating was 58 percent versus an unfavorable rating of 29 percent.
Trump is set to leave the White House with a 42 percent favorability rating and 47 percent unfavorability. Those are record low numbers compared to any time period over the past four years.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for additional remarks Tuesday afternoon.

melania trump first lady biden
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden greets Karen Pence, Melania Trump and Tiffany Trump on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. CHIP SOMODEVILLA / Staff/Getty Images