President Obama still America’s ‘most admired’ man, poll finds

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, December 27, 2010 12:30 EDT
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In spite of it all, more Americans admire President Barack Obama than any other man living or dead, a survey by the Gallup polling organization has found.

President Obama’s top spot on the list marks his third appearance atop America’s “most admired.” He first cracked #1 in 2008, when 32 percent of Americans selected him above other contenders. Gallup noted that the only other president to see such high levels of influence at the start of his first term was Dwight Eisenhower.

Even while partisan fury and ideological gridlock have dominated Washington, Obama retained much of his support from prior years, coming in at 22 percent of respondents for the 2010 poll. Second place went to President George W. Bush, with 5 percent, followed by President Bill Clinton at 4 percent.

Fox News conspiracy host Glenn Beck also made the top 10, tied with Pope Benedict XVI, Rev. Billy Graham and President Jimmy Carter at 2 percent.

Similarly, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the former first lady, topped a list of “most admired” females at 17 percent of respondents. She’s retained the #1 position for much of the last two decades with 15 appearances atop Gallup’s list.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin placed second with 12 percent, and television talk show host Oprah Winfrey took third at 11 percent. First lady Michelle Obama was in fourth with 5 percent.

Unsurprisingly, Republicans were more likely to call Bush their most admired American, with 11 percent picking the former president. Republicans put Obama in second place for most admired man, at 6 percent. Similarly, Democrats favored the nation’s current leader by a huge margin: 46 percent. Bill Clinton placed second among Democrats at 7 percent.

Obama, by far the nation’s most popular politician, had a job approval rating holding steady at 46 percent, according to a Dec. 21 Gallup survey. The organization noted that Obama’s approval rating had held firm despite his party’s major defeats in the midterm elections, calling Obama’s opinion performance “unusual.”

Palin, the nation’s most popular Republican, has very little chance of defeating President Obama in 2012, according to a recently released ABC News/Washington Post poll.

The one-time McCain running mate trailed President Obama substantially on all fronts, according to poll data. Six in 10 Americans, they found, outright reject the notion of ever voting for her. Gallup similarly noted in mid-November that her “unfavorable” rating had outgrown her “favorable” numbers, 52-40 percent.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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