(CNN) – She's been at times a lightning rod for criticism from some Republicans over the course of the presidential campaign, and a new poll out Wednesday suggests more Americans hold a negative view toward Michelle Obama than a positive one.
The new Associated Press-Yahoo poll shows 30 percent of Americans view the outspoken wife of Barack Obama favorably while 35 percent view her unfavorably. That compares to the 27 percent of Americans who view John McCain's wife, Cindy, favorably and the 17 percent who hold an unfavorable view of her. Mrs. McCain is clearly less known than Mrs. Obama - 56 percent said they don't know enough about the Arizona senator's wife to render an opinion while only 34 percent said the same for Mrs. Obama.
Watch: Cindy McCain discusses Obama
White Americans appear particularly suspect of Mrs. Obama. The poll shows those voters hold an unfavorable view of her by nearly 20 points while about 80 percent of black voters reported positive feelings about Mrs. Obama.
Those numbers are reversed for Cindy McCain: whites view her favorably by a margin of 17 points while only 10 percent of blacks like her.
In a similar trend line her husband faced during the primary season, Mrs. Obama's favorability ratings are higher among unmarried people and college graduates while her ratings are particularly low among senior voters.
Mrs. Obama also appears to drum up stronger opinions among voters than does Mrs. McCain. About 20 percent of voters said they hold a very negative view of her while 10 percent said the same for Mrs. McCain.
Republicans have targeted Mrs. Obama over several comments she has made over the course of the primary campaign, especially when she said earlier this year that she is really proud" of her country for the first time in her adult life.
The Obama campaign has made a concerted effort of late to soften Mrs. Obama's image, retooling her stump speech to include more details about her family and her humble origins on Chicago's South Side.
Watch: Michelle Obama's new image
The poll, conducted on June 13-23, surveyed 1,759 adults and carried an overall margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage ponts.