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Gallup: Trump most admired man in 2020, overtaking Obama

President Trump at the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit. (Shealah Craighead/White House)
December 29, 2020

President Donald Trump is the most admired man in 2020, according to a new Gallup poll released Monday.

Of those Americans surveyed, 18 percent named President Trump, knocking former-President Barack Obama out of the top spot for the first time in 12 years. Obama placed second with 15 percent.

According to Gallup, the incumbent president is usually at the top of Americans’ minds when they are suddenly asked which man living anywhere in the world they most admire. Since Gallup first began posing the question in 1946, the incumbent president has led the pack 60 times.

The incumbent president typically loses when he is unpopular politically, as was the case in 2017 and 2018 when Trump barely broke a 40 percent approval rating, finishing second to Obama.

Despite the president’s current 39 percent approval rating, Trump dominated with Republicans, whereas Democrats split their choices between multiple public figures.

Forty-eight percent of Republicans named Trump during this year’s survey, with no more than 2% going to any other public figure.

Democrats’ top pick was Obama with 32 percent, Joe Biden came in second among Democrats with 13 percent and Dr. Fauci took third with 5 percent.

Trump has finished in the top 10 most admired men 10 times, making the list four times before he entered politics from 1988 through 1990 and again in 2011. The remaining top ten men were Pope Francis, Elon Musk, Bernie Sanders, Bill Gates, LeBron James and the Dalai Lama.

The late Rev. Billy Graham hold the record for making the top 10 list an impressive 61 times throughout his life. Former President Jimmy Carter has the most top 10 finishes of any man alive with 29, putting him behind Graham and Ronald Regan for third all-time.

Public figures weren’t the only ones named during the poll: 11 percent of Americans named a relative or friend as the man they most admire. Twenty-one percent didn’t provide an opinion at all.

Gallup noted that Pope John Paul II and General Douglas MacArthur have often made the top 10.

“They, along with Henry Kissinger, are the only men who were not future, current or former presidents to finish first overall in any year,” Gallup said. “MacArthur was most admired man in 1946, 1947 and 1951; Kissinger topped the list from 1973 through 1975, and Pope John Paul II did so in 1980.”

According to Gallup, the top ten most admired women in 2020 are Michelle Obama, Kamala Harris, Melania Trump, Oprah Winfrey, Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Queen Elizabeth II, Amy Coney Barrett and Greta Thunberg.