May 9th, 2014
12:01 AM ET
6 years ago

Who's the most admired first lady?

Washington (CNN) - Bush and Clinton are tied in a new poll.

But this isn't a survey of a possible 2016 presidential showdown. Instead it's a poll of the most admired first lady.

According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released Friday, 27% of Americans say Barbara Bush is the most admired first lady over the past quarter century. Bush, the wife of former President George. H.W. Bush, is tied for the top spot in the survey with Hillary Clinton, who succeeded Bush in the White House as first lady.

The poll indicates current First Lady Michelle Obama is a close third, at 24%, with her predecessor, Laura Bush at 17%.

But the survey suggests large partisan and racial divides.

Forty-two percent of Democrats say Obama is the most admired first lady, with Clinton just three-percentage points behind. Republicans questioned put Barbara Bush on top at 45%, with Laura Bush second at 36%. And independents most admire Barbara Bush (28%) and Clinton (27%).

One-third of white respondents say they admire Barbara Bush, with Clinton second at 24%. Among African-Americans, Michelle Obama (58%) is most admired, with Clinton (30%) a distant second. And among Latinos, Clinton's in first (45%) followed by Obama (29%).

Jeb Bush edges up, Hillary Clinton slightly down, in our latest CNN/ORC 2016 poll

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was conducted April 23-27, with 1,000 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey has an overall sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Complete coverage: 2014 Midterm Elections

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Barbara Bush • Hillary Clinton • Laura Bush • Michelle Obama • White House
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. storm chaser 101

    Barbera Bush by a landslide.

    May 9, 2014 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  2. Name Uche Agonsi

    US deserves a sense of pride for having been constantly blessed with very adorable ladies as first ladies. Some might be elderly, whiter, darker or more fashionable than others. But they all have exhibited qualities that really justify their positions as first ladies.

    May 9, 2014 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  3. j0eschm0e

    Another useless article.

    May 9, 2014 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  4. gdolsen

    Glad someone finally did this poll to put the burning question of "who was the best first lady?" to rest.

    May 9, 2014 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  5. Mr. Dude

    Good grief, the headline made me think this was a Jeb Bush vs. Hillary presidential run poll.

    Which would be a really depressing set of choices.

    May 9, 2014 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  6. Marie MD

    Benghazi, benbhazi . . . . wait, most admired first lady right up there with Barbara Bush.
    Good luck trying to make anything stick to Hillary. In particular lies and innuendos about things in the past that have been covered and investigated ad nauseum.

    May 9, 2014 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  7. @RI_Roger

    A popularity contest... nothing of substance based on achievements and moral, ethical values.

    May 9, 2014 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  8. Guest

    Michelle has ruined her reputation by all the diet faux pas.

    May 9, 2014 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  9. southernwonder

    most admired is mrs. lbj of texas, god's country.

    May 9, 2014 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  10. Phillp Bunn

    Over the past quarter century there have been "no" admirable first ladies. Considering the piss poor choices, I am surprised its even a posted as a contest.

    May 9, 2014 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  11. kamarasune

    Jacqueline Kennedy.

    May 9, 2014 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  12. squirrelyone

    What? No Dolly Madison?! I call shenanigans.

    May 9, 2014 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  13. Forgetthesecrooks

    These two families have have 3 decades to destroy America. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. NO BUSH OR CLINTONS!!! RAND PAUL 2016!!! Let's take American back from the criminal families that have sank our country to new lows!

    May 9, 2014 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  14. loco motion

    Another Bush? I'll pass, thanks.

    May 9, 2014 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  15. loco motion

    Babs, her popularity soared after she voiced her opposition to another bush presidency, a very popular opinion for sure.

    May 9, 2014 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  16. shyeah

    Laura Bush is pure class..... not so much.

    May 9, 2014 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  17. ED1

    Laura Bush period she brought class back to the White House that will never be matched.

    May 9, 2014 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  18. EastCoast Mike

    Kind of the article says, the survey suggests large partisan and racial divides. If you had asked who the best president was during this period the results would be the same.

    May 9, 2014 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  19. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    We know we know. But my favorite First Lady is the very fit Mrs. Michelle Obama.

    May 9, 2014 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Jackie O for what she endured (Marilyn et al and the assasination of her husband), and MIchelle Obama for what she's enduring from the yahoos of this country.
    Both have exhibited grace and class under duress.

    May 9, 2014 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  21. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    My personal vote is for Barbara Bush, too! She was a refreshing change from the Botox Barbie that Nancy Reagan appeared to be. Although her daughter-in-law comes in a close second.

    May 9, 2014 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  22. quent97

    Good thing they limited this to the last quarter century because Jackie Onassis Kennedy would have swept the floor with all of them.

    May 9, 2014 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  23. don in albuquerque

    And now back at the High School Prom, the king and the Queen are..............CNN you need some new blood.

    May 9, 2014 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Clinton's handling of Boko Haram questioned
    Of course, it is. I question why they're blaming Clinton for it. Isn't the POTUS the one who usually makes such announcements? It's a national policy decision. This is still about the right trying to make Clinton damaged goods by 2016. They're hell bent on making Hillary a "no term president."

    May 9, 2014 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  25. NealR2000

    The Poll is clearly very much affected by how respondents view their respective husbands and political preferences.

    May 9, 2014 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
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