MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- It’s a tie! The two most recent U.S. presidents are deadlocked atop a new list of most admired men, according to a new Gallup poll.
President Donald Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama were each named by 18% of respondents when asked to name the man and woman, living anywhere in the world, they admire most. Former First Lady Michelle Obama came in first for most admired woman for the second year in row.
For Obama, this is the 12th year he claimed the top spot, while this is the first time President Donald Trump led the field. Naturally, who selected each man broke sharply down party lines, with 41 percent of Democrats picking the last Democratic president and 45 percent of Republicans naming the current GOP officeholder. Independents identified them by a nearly equal share, 12 percent for Obama versus 10 percent for President Trump.
For President Trump, the jump to number one coincides with a rise in overall popularity, Gallup points out. It currently pegs his overall job approval rating as 45 percent, which despite being less than half of Americans, ranks as one of the high points of his presidency. It is also as significant increase on the past two years when he was selected by 13 percent (2018) and 14 percent (2017). Obama’s 18 percent splits the difference of the last two years, 19 percent last year and 18 percent in the previous one.
No other individual grabbed more than two percent of the share, Gallup added, noting that former President Jimmy Carter, businessman Elon Musk, philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Pope Francis, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Rep. Adam Schiff, the Dalai Lama, and investor Warren Buffett all picked up votes.
Eleven percent, however, didn’t go with anyone famous and picked a friend or relative. A quarter of respondents didn’t name anyone.
With a dozen years as the most admired man, Obama pulls into another tie, with former President Dwight D. Eisenhower for most times on top.
Michelle Obama was the only woman who finished in the double digits, despite her support falling from 15 percent to ten percent. Half as many named current First Lady Melania Trump, while three percent went with Hillary Clinton, climate change activist Greta Thunberg, or Oprah Winfrey.
Queen Elizabeth II ranked in the top ten, which is little surprise because she’s been there fifty times before. Her 51 times finishing that high isn’t the record though. The Rev. Billy Graham did so 61 times.