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More than half the U.S. likes Melania Trump

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First lady Melania Trump arrives to a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — The more Americans learn about first lady Melania Trump, the more they like her.

Her favorability rating is up 16 points since her husband was sworn-in as President, according to a CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday in CNN’s COVER/LINE newsletter.

About 52% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Melania Trump, an increase from 36% pre-inauguration. In February 2016, the former model’s favorable rating was a paltry 24%, her unfavorable was 31% and 23% had never even heard of her. Now, just 3% say they don’t know who the first lady is, and her unfavorable rate has held steady at 32%.

Most of the recent uptick in favorable results are due to those undecided Americans, or those who had yet to form an opinion.

Pre-inauguration, 23% had no opinion about the first lady, compared with 12% now.

The results fall along party lines; 86% of Republicans view the first lady favorably, while just 22% of Democrats feel the same. That margin is a lot wider for Melania Trump than it was for Michelle Obama, who in April 2009 had a favorable rating of 93% among Democrats and 50% among Republicans. When Hillary Clinton was first lady in 1994, 34% of Republicans viewed her favorably, compared with 85% of Democrats, numbers more comparable to Trump’s.

Another interesting note on Melania Trump’s new poll numbers: men have a more favorable view of her than women. Fifty-eight percent of men view her positively, and 46% of women. Michelle Obama’s numbers in that category were dramatically flip-flopped with 78% women and 68% men. Laura Bush was split fairly evenly between the two, 56% women, 55% men.

Additionally, it appears the majority of college-educated women are not on board with Melania Trump. Just 46% of women with degrees view her favorably, 34% unfavorably, while women without degrees have a 55% favorability, and 28% unfavorable. Her favorable rating jumps among men without degrees—72%. For those men with degrees, that number stands at 62%.

Interviews for the CNN / ORC poll were conducted March 1-4, 2017 by telephone with 1,025