The Polls: Public Favorability toward the First Lady, 1993-1999



    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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An indicator of favorability to the First Lady from 1993 through midyear 1999 is constructed. That series is independent of similar attitudes toward the president. And although the series displays ups and downs, empirical analysis is not successful in explaining why the public likes or dislikes the First Lady. The personal nature of a likability assessment, it is argued, makes for an attitude resistant to change in the short run.