In our inaugural First Ladies Greatness Poll, we asked likely voters to rate the last 12 first ladies going back to Jacqueline Kennedy to Dr. Jill Biden. We've covered the last 60+ years of first ladies-the modern era. We utilized a scale of Great, Near Great, Average, Below Average, and Failure to rate the first ladies.
It was no surprise that Jacqueline Kennedy (65%), "Jackie O.," is still the greatest, by far. The public has always had a fascination with her style choices, jetsetter lifestyle, and movie star looks. Her lead is significant, with 14 percentage points separating the next closest First Lady, Michelle Obama (51%), who may be this generation's "Jackie O." She too is lauded for her fashion, historic significance, and her political views. Nipping at the designer heals of Michelle O. is another huge figure, Nancy Reagan (50%). Nancy was another First Lady in the spotlight, who captured the public imagination with her poise, and programs to help at risk youth.
At the bottom were Pat Nixon (28%), Melania Trump (34%), and Hillary Clinton (35%). All somewhat controversial First Ladies in their own right.
It might be noted that the most popular First Ladies all had husbands (Presidents John Kennedy, Barack Obama, and Ronald Reagan) who were very popular and had broad appeal. The least popular First Ladies all had husbands (Presidents Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump) who were some of the most controversial and despised presidents we've had in the modern era.
Dr. Jill Biden (39%) has not even served a full term, but we wanted to test her popularity, and at the moment she finished in the middle.
Please click here to view the frequency tables.
Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
US Likely Voters
8/5/21 - 8/13/21
Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 5,437 likely voters in the US.
Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.
Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. The party breakdown for this survey is as follows: 38% Democrat, 38% Republican and 24% Independent/unaffiliated.
Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 5,437 is +/- 1.5 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.
Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.
Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.
About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.
The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.