First Lady Michelle Obama's popularity is holding up despite the increasingly harsh nature of the presidential campaign and the many political attacks on her husband.
Sixty-five percent of voters nationally have a positive impression of Mrs. Obama, according to the latest Marist Poll, released Thursday. Twenty-three percent have an unfavorable impression.
[See pictures of Michelle Obama.]
Mrs. Obama's favorability rating has been consistent. Last October, 63 percent thought positively about her. Last May, it was 66 percent and in September 2010, it was 65 percent.
However, there is a partisan split. Ninety-one percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents have a favorable impression of Mrs. Obama, but only 43 percent of Republicans see her favorably.
In the latest poll, President Obama was viewed favorably by 50 percent of voters and unfavorably by 46 percent.
"The first lady may be the president's best asset," says Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "With numbers like these, expect her to have a high profile on the campaign trail."
A Marist spokesman adds that Mrs. Obama "could be more of a draw on the campaign trail than her husband."
Michelle Obama has focused on relatively non-controversial activities as first lady, such as supporting veterans and military families, fighting childhood obesity and promoting a healthy diet.