The Polls: Public Attitudes toward the First Lady



    1. Professor of political science at Fordham University. His most recent book, Presidential Responsiveness and Public Policy-Making: The Public and the Policies That Presidents Choose (University of Michigan Press, 1997), was awarded the 1998 Richard E. Neustadt Award of the Presidency Research Group of the American Political Science Association.
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During Hillary Clinton's First Ladyship, public and poll interest in the First Lady surged as a function of Mrs. Clinton's active public, political, and policy presence. Does such an active First Lady have consequences for public evaluations of the president? I address this question by looking at “job approval” poll data on the First Lady and President Clinton. Although their polls are highly correlated, no causal connection between public evaluations of the First Lady and the president seems to exist.