[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/30/art.obama1230.gi.jpg caption="A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll indicates that President Obama is not the most popular person in his administration."]Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama may be the most popular man in his administration, but according to a new national poll, he's not the most popular person.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday indicates that the president's poll numbers pale in comparison to the favorable ratings of two women: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama.
Fifty-eight percent of people questioned in the survey have a favorable view of Obama, with four in 10 holding an unfavorable view. But the president's favorable rating is 10 points below that of his wife and 6 points behind the secretary of state. According to the poll, 68 percent of the public has a positive opinion of the first lady, with 19 percent holding an unfavorable opinion. Sixty-four percent have a positive view of Clinton, with three in 10 holding an unfavorable view.
The survey indicates that nearly nine out of 10 Democrats have a positive view of the president, with Independents split and more than 3 out of 4 Republicans seeing Obama in an unfavorable way. The president's favorable rating is down 6 points from August and 11 points from April.
A reminder that a favorable rating is not the same as an approval rating: favorable ratings measure how Americans feel about Obama as a person, while an approval rating is an indicator of his job performance in the White House.
According to the poll, most Cabinet officials other than Clinton are not very well known.
"An exception is Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who may be better-known, and better-liked, than the rest because he also served for several years under former President George W. Bush," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
Gates has a 52 percent favorable rating, with 18 percent unfavorable and 3 in 10 unsure. The defense secretary's 55 percent favorable rating among Republicans is one point higher than his rating among Democrats.
Twenty-seven percent of people questioned say they have a favorable opinion of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, with 33 percent holding an unfavorable view and 4 in 10 unsure. The poll indicates Americans are divided on their opinion of Attorney General Eric Holder, with 54 percent unsure. The public also appears to be split on their opinion of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, with 43 percent unsure.
"Geithner and Holder are relatively unknown. So is Bernanke, despite his status as Time magazine's Person of the Year and his high-profile confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill," adds Holland.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted December 16-20, with 1,160 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn