Donald Trump and Michelle Obama are named ‘most admired’ in Gallup poll

By NANCY DILLON | New York Daily News | Published: December 29, 2020

NEW YORK (Tribune News Service) — He lost the popular vote and the U.S. election, but Donald Trump was named “most admired” man of 2020 in a new Gallup poll that left Democrats divvying up mentions.

Former first lady Michelle Obama won the title of most admired woman for the third year in a row, according to the annual poll released Tuesday.

Trump managed his first solo No. 1 finish despite his 39% job approval rating due to his dominance of the GOP, Gallup said.

Overall, Trump received 18% of mentions while former President Barack Obama and President-elect Joe Biden received 15% and 6%, respectively.

Three percent of respondents named Dr. Anthony Fauci as their most admired man while 2% chose Pope Francis.

Billionaire businessman Elon Musk, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, basketball superstar LeBron James and the Dalai Lama rounded out the list of top 10 men with 1% each.

Trump’s first-place title ended Obama’s 12-year streak as most admired man, a record run he shares with only former President Dwight Eisenhower.

Michelle Obama took top honors again after receiving 10% of mentions. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris came in second with 6%.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held the No. 1 spot for 16 consecutive years before handing the title to Obama and has ranked first 22 times in total.

Meanwhile, current first lady Melania Trump came in third this year with 4% of mentions. She joins Bess Truman and Lady Bird Johnson as the only former or current first ladies with no No. 1 ranking.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey received 3% of mentions this year while Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Queen Elizabeth II each received 2%.

Newly installed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett and climate change activist Greta Thunberg completed the top 10 list with 1% each.

Dolly Parton, Condoleezza Rice, Malala Yousafzai, Nikki Haley, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Betty White and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also received 1% of mentions this year, but they still ranked lower than Barrett and Thunberg with fewer overall votes.

The yearly Gallup poll asks participants to name, without any prompting, the man and woman living anywhere in the world that they most admire.

Incumbent presidents tend to be top of mind. Over the poll’s 74-year history, the open-ended question has pushed the sitting president to a first-place finish 60 times.

When current presidents don’t finish first, it’s typically a reflection of low approval ratings. Such was the case with Trump in the first two years of his presidency, when his approval ratings hovered around 36% and 40% respectively, and he lost to Barack Obama.

President Trump and Obama tied for top honors last year.

Gallup said 11% of respondents named a relative or friend as the man they admire most, while 16% said their most-admired woman was a relative or friend.

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