Poll: Democrats would rather see Michelle Obama in the White House than Biden

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If Democrats had a magic wand, they’d put Michelle Obama in the White House.

The former first lady has more political star power than incumbent President Joe Biden and other famous and not-so-famous Democrats ahead of the November election, according to The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll, conducted Jan. 2-4.

The poll, conducted with Noble Predictive Insights, found that if Democrats and Democrat-leaning likely voters could wave a magic wand, 24% would pick Michelle Obama. The former first lady was followed by Biden (20%), U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (12%), someone else (9%), U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg (9%), former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (8%), Vice President Kamala Harris (7%), and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (5%).

Three other Democrats didn’t have as much appeal: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer got 4%, followed by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (1%) and U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (1%).

Michelle Obama, the wife of former President Barack Obama, has strong support among Black and Hispanic Democratic voters, women and people younger than 55, according to the poll. Michelle Obama, who turns 60 on Jan. 17, recently spoke with Jay Shetty for an episode of his “On Purpose” podcast. During the podcast, she said she was terrified about the upcoming election.

“What’s going to happen in this next election? I am terrified about what could possibly happen because our leaders matter,” Michelle Obama said. “Who we select speaks for us. Who holds that bully pulpit, it affects us in ways that sometimes I think people take for granted.”

“You know, the fact that people think that government, eh, you know, doesn’t really even do anything and I’m like, ‘oh my God, does government do everything for us,’ ” Michelle Obama said. “And we cannot take this democracy for granted. And sometimes I worry that we do.”

Former President Donald Trump holds a significant lead over his challengers in the Republican primary heading into Monday’s Iowa caucuses, the first time U.S. voters can officially weigh in on whom the GOP nominee should be. The Obamas have been vocal critics of Trump.

Previous The Center Square Voters’ Voice Polls showed similar support for the former first lady.

“Michelle Obama currently has the best of multiple worlds,” said David Byler, chief of research at Noble Predictive Insights, which conducted the polling. “She’s a celebrity with near universal name recognition. She’s beloved by Democrats who remember her years as First Lady. But she doesn’t have the string of failures and missteps that follow anyone who holds formal political office.

“In other words, she has all the goodwill that comes with the Obama brand but no record that a potential opponent could use against her. She’s not running for office now – but if she chose to do so in a future cycle, she could be formidable,” he said.

The poll with Noble Predictive Insights surveyed 2,573 Americans from Jan. 2-4, including about an even number of Republicans and Democrats along with 266 “true independents,” which are independents who indicated they do not lean toward either party. The poll has a margin of error of about 2%.

In other results, Trump surpassed Biden by four percentage points nationally in The Center Square Voters’ Voice poll.

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