03/27/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Poll: Michelle Obama Most Popular First Lady in Decades

A CBS NY Times poll reports that Michelle Obama, at this early stage in her husband's presidency, is the most popular First Lady of all recent first ladies.

The poll reports, "49% have a favorable opinion of her, while only 5% hold a negative view." And "...44% are undecided or don't know enough about Michelle Obama yet to have an opinion of her."

This compares to other recent first ladies:

Laura Bush 30% favorable

Hillary Clinton 44% favorable

Barbara Bush 34% favorable

Nancy Reagan 28% favorable

The poll stated,

Women are more likely to hold a favorable opinion of Michelle Obama (56%) than men (41%), but she is more familiar to women than to men.

The First Lady is also more familiar to Americans age 45 and over than to younger people.

Seven in 10 Democrats view Michelle Obama favorably, compared to just 28% of Republicans, but Republicans do give the First Lady a net positive rating. Still, she remains unknown to 63% of them.

The poll found that the numbers haven't changed much since President Obama took office, but the NY Times reports that during the fall elections, 33% of Republicans held an unfavorable opinion of Michelle Obama, and that has dropped to 10%.

Crossposted from