President Trump and former President Obama are tied this year as the most admired man, with each garnering votes from 18% of U.S. adults sampled, according to a Gallup poll published on Monday.
For Obama – who just bought an $11.75 million mansion on Martha’s Vineyard with wife Michelle, it’s his 12th time on the list. Michelle, meanwhile, was the most admired woman for the second year in a row.
For Trump, this is his highest score in three years.
Each year since 1948, Gallup has asked Americans to name, in an open-ended fashion, which man and woman living anywhere in the world they admire most. This year’s results are based on a Dec. 2-15 poll.
Americans’ choice for most admired man this year is sharply divided along party lines: 41% of Democrats name Obama, while 45% of Republicans choose Trump. Relatively few Democrats choose Trump and relatively few Republicans pick Obama, while independents’ choices are divided about equally between the two men. –Gallup
Of note, incumbent presidents have won ‘most admired man’ in 58 of the last 72 Gallup polls, and have typically not been the choice because of political unpopularity.
Trump is more popular now than he was in the past two years, with a 45% job approval rating, among his best as president. Coincident with the rise in his job approval rating, the 18% of Americans currently naming Trump as the most admired man is also up, from 13% in 2018 and 14% in 2017. Increased mentions of Trump as the most admired man have come almost exclusively among his fellow Republicans — 32% of Republicans named Trump in 2018 and 35% did so in 2017.
Obama’s 18% mentions among U.S. adults as the most admired man are in line with his 2018 (19%) and 2017 (17%) figures, all of which are high for a former president. Dwight Eisenhower is the only other former president who received double-digit mentions at any point after leaving office.
Following Obama and Trump, there were no other men who received more than 2% of responses. The remainder include: 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.
11% of Americans named a friend or relative as their most admired man, while 18% named some other living man, and 25% chose not to name anyone.
Michelle Obama, meanwhile, is the sixth former first lady to win most admired woman – the others being Eleanor Roosevelt, Jacqueline Kennedy, Mamie Eisenhower, Betty Ford and Hillary Clinton.
Current first lady Melania Trump finished second this year, mentioned by 5%, with former talk show host Oprah Winfrey, Clinton and teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg named by 3% of U.S. adults each. The remainder of the top 10 for women includes Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
Queen Elizabeth finished in the top 10 for the 51st time, more than any other woman. Winfrey (32 times) and Clinton (28) have also made regular appearances in the top 10. The Rev. Billy Graham has the most top 10 finishes for either gender: a total of 61 between 1955 and 2017 before his death last year.