Don’t believe the pundits.
For the sixth consecutive year, Barack Obama ranks as the Most Admired Man among Americans, and Hillary Clinton is again the Most Admired Woman. The Gallup Poll organization reports that for 2103 both won by comfortable margins.
“Sixteen percent named Obama, compared with 4% each for former
President George W. Bush and Pope Francis; Clinton (15%) finished ahead of television personality Oprah Winfrey (6%), first lady Michelle Obama (5%), and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (5%).
“Each year, Gallup asks Americans to name, in an open-ended format, the man and woman living anywhere in the world they admire most. This year’s poll was conducted Dec. 5-8. Obama has won Gallup’s Most Admired Man designation each year since 2008, the year he was elected president. However, similar to his declining job approval rating this year, the percentage naming him fell to 16% from 30% in 2012. The remainder of the top 10 Most Admired men includes three former presidents (Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter) and two religious leaders (the Rev. Billy Graham and Pope Francis). The sitting pope has finished in the top 10 each year since 1977. In addition to Pope Francis, actor, director, and political activist Clint Eastwood and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz finished in the top 10 for the first time. This year’s poll was conducted at the time of South African human rights leader Nelson Mandela’s death. The widespread news coverage of his death helped make him top of mind for many Americans, and 7% named him as Most Admired Man. However, because the question wording specifically asks for the name of a living man or woman, Gallup does not rank deceased figures who are mentioned. Hillary Clinton has been named Most Admired Woman a total of 18 times, more than any other woman in Gallup’s history, including each of the last 12 years. Clinton first won the distinction in 1993, when she was first lady, and has continued to rank at or near the top of the list while serving in a variety of public roles including as U.S. senator and as secretary of state. The 15% naming her this year is down from 21% last year and is the lowest figure for her since 2006.
“The top 10 Most Admired Woman list includes several political leaders such as Clinton, Palin, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as humanitarian activists such as Winfrey, Malala Yousafzai (the Pakistani girl shot for trying to attend school), and Angelina Jolie. The queen of England and her granddaughter-in-law, Duchess Kate, also finished among the leading women. All of the women ranking in the top 10 have previously appeared on the list. Graham has appeared in the top 10 list far more often than any other man, making his 57th appearance this year. He has never finished first, a spot typically taken by the sitting president, but has finished second on numerous occasions. Ronald Reagan has the second most top 10 finishes, but his 31 such finishes are 26 fewer than Graham’s. Carter’s 28th top 10 finish this year moved him ahead of former Pope John Paul II for the third most top 10 appearances. Bill Clinton’s 22nd top 10 spot ranks him fifth, now ahead of Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. Mandela frequently finished among the top 10, making his 20th and final top 10 appearance last year.