Washington: With the US set for presidential polls this year, First Lady Michelle Obama seems to be more popular among Americans than her re-election seeking husband Barack Obama.

Sixty-six percent of Americans hold a favourable view of first lady, compared to the president's 52 percent, according to a Gallup poll.

Michelle Obama's favourability is unchanged from nearly two years ago and in line with her ratings since Obama was inaugurated as president, Gallup said releasing results of its latest survey.

Noting that Michelle's current favourable rating is identical to her average 66 per cent rating to date as first lady, Gallup said Americans did not view her as positively during the 2008 presidential campaign, giving her favourable ratings no higher than 54 percent.

Opinions of her became considerably more positive in January 2009, rising to 68 percent, just before the inauguration.

Americans also viewed each of the prior two first ladies positively, with Laura Bush averaging a 73 percent favourable rating and Hillary Clinton 56 percent.

Gallup began asking favourable and unfavourable opinions of national figures in the current question format in 1992, so it does not have comparable data on first ladies prior to Clinton.

Michelle Obama has a higher favourable rating than the president among independents and Republicans.


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