Only 43 percent of those surveyed earlier this month said they had a favorable opinion of the first lady, compared with 54 percent in early October, according to the poll released Thursday. That’s a drop of 20 percent.
The December numbers marked Melania Trump’s lowest favorability standing of the year.
It was also her second-lowest percentage since shortly before President Donald Trump took office, when only 36 percent of those surveyed had a favorable opinion of her.
Fewer non-whites, younger people, women and those with college degrees had a favorable opinion of the first lady than whites, men, those over 45 years old and people without college degrees, according to the poll.
The falling numbers come after the first lady spent more time at her husband’s side in public appearances and after a number of controversial comments that triggered criticism. She complained in an ABC interview, for example, that she considered herself the “most bullied person in the world.” She also said that women who accuse men of sexual abuse or harassment need “hard evidence,” and that “we need to support” accused men as well.
In the December poll, 36 percent of those surveyed said they had an unfavorable opinion of Melania Trump — a 6-percentage-point increase over October’s survey — and 18 percent said they had no opinion.
The first lady’s numbers were at their highest for 2018 in May ― a 57 percent favorability rating ― after her first State Dinner in April and a trip alone to former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral.
The CNN/SSRS poll of 1,015 respondents was conducted Dec. 6-9 using live telephone interviews to reach both landlines and cellphones.