There are power couples, and then there’s Donald and Melania Trump. A power couple doesn’t always work together. Instead they excel at different things, with similarly high levels of success. So congrats to the outgoing President and his wife: Before they both snub the incoming Bidens, they can leave safe in the knowledge that he leaves office with his lowest approval rating yet, while she departs with the worst final popularity in First Lady history.
First, The Donald. Gallup, one of the nation’s most trusted sources of opinion polling, revealed that a poll conducted between January 4 and the 15th — i.e., during the failed MAGA coup and its aftermath — had him receiving an approval rating of only 34%. It is indeed the worst evaluation of his entire presidency.
His average approval rating wasn’t much better: only 41%. He never, over four years, cracked over 50%, though he came close: His highest number was 49%. As for its previous low, was 35%, in the fall of 2017, soon after the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, whose perpetrators he failed to sufficiently condemn. Through it all, Republican had his back: There was a record 81-percentage-point average between them and Democratic voters — a whipping 11 points wider than the previous record.
As for Melania, who launched an anti-bullying program called #BeBest that didn’t quite gibe with her husband’s antics, a CNN/SSRS poll had 47% saying they had an unfavorable view of the soon-to-be-ex-FLOTUS, with only 42% saying their view was favorable. She’s never been remotely as divisive a figure as her spouse; her highest came in May of 2018, when she peaked at 57%.
For some contest, before Melania, the average First Lady’s final popularity was 71%, and the average unfavorabilty rating was 21%. Indeed, before her, the only FLOTUS to leave office with a popularity rating below 40% was Hillary Clinton. But maybe Melania’s husband will be proud of her beating Hillary at something.