Melania Trump leaves White House with worst popularity rating ever for first lady

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Melania Trump is leaving Washington with the worst final popularity rating ever for first lady – at just 42 per cent.

The former model, 50, has set the bar low, just like her husband Donald, who had the worst average approval rating in polling history – even lower than the disgraced Richard Nixon.

Melania never seemed to enjoy or fully embrace the first lady role after taking over from popular Michelle Obama, and was largely invisible for long stretches.

Her tenure was marked by her initial absence as she chose not to immediately join Donald, 74, in the White House, public relations disasters, hostility towards the media and many awkward moments with her husband – who it is thought she will soon sue for divorce.

Click here for our live blog with the latest updates from Washington as Trump leaves the White House and Biden is inaugurated.

Donald and Melania Trump have set the bar low during their four years in Washington
(Image: Getty Images)

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A new CNN/SSRS poll puts Melania's unfavourable rating at 47 per cent and her favourable rating at just 42 per cent – the lowest for any first lady at the end of her term and almost 30 points below average.

Michelle Obama, wife of Barack Obama, and Laura Bush, wife of George W Bush, had favourable ratings of 69 per cent.

Incoming first lady Jill Biden, wife of US President-elect Joe Biden, has a favorable rating of 58 per cent to a 29 per cent unfavourable rating.

It emerged this week that Melania has refused to give Jill Biden a tour of the White House, a more than 100-year-old tradition for outgoing first ladies. In another stain on their reputation, the Trumps are skipping Joe Biden's inauguration and jetting home to Florida instead.

Were Donald and Melania Trump the worst US president and first lady in history? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Melania speaks in her final video message as first lady
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Hillary Clinton, who was more politically active than her predecessors and was a US senator when her husband Bill's final term in the White House ended, left with 52 per cent favourable and 39 per cent unfavourable ratings.

The highest favourable rating belongs to Barbara Bush, whose husband George HW Bush served a single term that ended in 1993.

Harry Enten, a CNN Politics journalist and analyst, wrote: "The 47 per cent is the highest unfavourable rating we ever recorded for Trump.

"It's also amazingly high from a historical perspective.

"Traditionally, first ladies are nearly uniformly admired. The position is unelected and normally uncontroversial. It's hard to be unpopular."

He said the average first lady's final popularity rating before Melania was 71 per cent with an unpopularity rating of 21 per cent.

The average net popularity rating for previous first ladies was +50 points.

Meanwhile, Donald is ending his one term in the White House with an approval rating of just 34 per cent, tying him with Jimmy Carter and George W Bush for the second-lowest rating for a president leaving office.

Melania wears a jacket reading "I really don't care, do you?" after visiting child migrants on the US-Mexico border
(Image: AFP/Getty Images)

There were plenty of awkward exchanges between the Trumps during his election campaigns and their time in the White House
(Image: Getty Images)

Harry Truman's rating was the lowest, at 32 per cent.

Barack Obama left with a 59 per cent approval rating.

The poll was conducted by Gallup, which found that Trump averaged an approval rating of just 41 per cent during his presidency – the worst of any president since it began tracking the data under John F Kennedy.

Donald's average approval rating is four points lower than that of any other modern president, including Truman and Nixon, who was forced to resign due to the Watergate scandal.

A separate poll by Quinnipiac University put Donald's approval rating at 34 per cent and his disapproval rating at 61 per cent – the worst first term approval rating ever.