The First Lady's Fading Favorables

Source Organization: Pew Research Center

01/24/2008 - Laura Bush, once almost universally liked, has seen her favorability ratings slip along with her husband's over the past three years. Currently, a slim majority of Americans (54%) say they have a favorable impression of the First Lady, down from 70% in August of 2004. The number saying they have an unfavorable view of Laura Bush has risen from 18% to 29% over the same time period.

While trending downward, views of Laura Bush have changed less dramatically than have views of her husband over the past five years. The poll, conducted Dec. 19-30 among 1,430 adults nationwide, finds Laura Bush's favorability rating has fallen by 16 points since August 2004; by contrast, George W. Bush's favorability has declined by 25 points over the same period (from 58% to 33%).

In 2004, a narrow majority of Democrats (52%) viewed Laura Bush favorably. Currently, just 39% of Democrats have a positive impression of the First Lady, while 44% express an unfavorable opinion.

Laura Bush's favorability among independents also is down substantially, from 68% in 2004 to 51% in the current poll. And while nine-in-ten conservative Republicans (90%) continue to view the First Lady positively, her image has slipped among moderate and liberal Republicans from 85% to 68% over the past three years. One-in-five moderate and liberal Republicans (20%) express an unfavorable opinion of Laura Bush, compared with just 4% in 2004.

Read the full report Laura Bush's Declining Favorability on the Pew Research Center Web site.

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