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What If Michelle Obama Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Michelle Obama for president? What if she ran against the seemingly impregnable Hillary Clinton?

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 14% of Likely U.S. Voters think the first lady should run for president. Seventy-one percent (71%) disagree, but another 15% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Among black voters, however, 40% think Obama should run, and only 41% disagree. One-in-five (18%) is undecided. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of whites and 59% of other minority voters oppose a presidential bid by the first lady.

In a hypothetical matchup with Hillary Clinton, the putative Democratic presidential nominee in 2016, Obama earns 44% support from black voters to Clinton’s 36%.

Among Likely Democratic Voters, it’s Clinton 56%, Obama 22%. That appears to be a better showing against Clinton than Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the only other announced Democratic presidential candidate, makes at this point.

Among all voters, Clinton earns 37% support to Obama’s 17%. A sizable 40% prefer some other candidate.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on May 11-12, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters share a favorable opinion of Michelle Obama, with 33% who view her Very Favorably. Forty-one percent (41%) regard her unfavorably, including 25% with a Very Unfavorable opinion.

The first lady’s overall favorable ratings have ranged from a high of 67% to a low of 45% but have not fallen below 54% since just after the 2008 presidential election.

Thirty percent (30%) think her performance in the White House has been better than that of most other first ladies, but slightly more (34%) rate the job she’s done as worse than that of her predecessors. Thirty percent (30%) say it’s been about the same.

Fifty-five percent (55%) believe Obama has been a good role model for younger Americans, down from 61% in January of last year. Thirty-two percent (32%) disagree, up from 23% in the previous survey. Thirteen percent (13%) are undecided.

Women continue to view Obama more favorably than men do. The older the voter, the less likely he or she is to approve of the first lady and the job she’s doing.

Eighty-four percent (84%) of black voters view her as a good role model, a view shared by 49% of whites and 66% of other minority voters.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of all voters think it’s likely that a woman will be elected president in the next 10 years, with 37% who consider it Very Likely.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) think Hillary Clinton is likely to be elected president next year, although that includes just 23% who say it's Very Likely. But Clinton definitely has a growing trust problem.

School districts around the country have been pushing to opt out of the school food guidelines championed by Michelle Obama, and most Americans continue to believe it's not the federal government's job to decide what school kids eat.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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