Melania Trump is only growing more popular as her husband falls to all-time lows.
As Donald Trump has navigated through a series of scandals and unpopular legislation, his approval ratings have dipped to places no president has seen before. A new Associated Press-NORC poll released this weekend found that Trump’s approval ratings is at 32 percent with 67 percent disapproval, the lowest mark ever for a first-term president.
The mark comes as Trump pushed through an unpopular tax overhaul and lost popularity through a series of spats, from fights with NFL players over national anthem protests to attacks on the FBI and political opponents, Republicans and Democrats alike. Trump is losing popularity among his core audience as well, with a new poll finding that he has dropped 32 points among loyal Fox News viewers.
But as Donald Trump sinks, Melania Trump is surging in the other direction. A new Gallup poll conducted from December 4 to December 11 shows that a majority of Americans have a positive view of the First Lady, an increase of 17 points since Donald Trump took office in January.
Melania Trump has taken on a much more visible role in the White House since the first polling numbers. Back in January, she was remaining in Manhattan so their son, Barron, could complete his school year. They moved into the White House after Barron’s school year ended, and Melania has now taken on some of the traditional First Lady duties like decorating the White House for Christmas.
Melania Trump has been a staple of gossip outlets as well, with reports that she was having an affair with a man in Manhattan and that she and Donald Trump were nearing divorce.
As Slate noted, it’s not all that uncommon for a First Lady to outshine her husband among Americans. Michelle Obama had a 61 percent approval rating at this point of Barack Obama’s presidency, and Laura Bush had an approval rating of 77 percent. The report noted that even Hillary Clinton, who never enjoyed the bump in popularity during her time as First Lady, still had a 58 percent approval rating during Bill Clinton’s first year in office.