President Obama far and away tops the list of Gallup's annual "most admired man" survey although the percentage of Americans who chose him has fallen since his election, while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the most admired woman, with Sarah Palin and Oprah Winfrey not too far behind in second and third place.
Although Obama's job approval numbers have been at a low ebb for much of the year, Americans clearly approach this question with a different set of standards in mind, just as they do when asked whether or not they have a favorable view of Obama. Polls consistently show that a higher percentage of Americans view Obama himself favorably even though fewer give him positive marks for the way he does his job.
It's also no surprise that Obama would top the list, as the choice of 22 percent of those surveyed, since sitting presidents have been Gallup's most admired man in 52 of 64 of its polls. But the number of those choosing Obama was down from last year when 30 percent named him.
Former President George Bush (43 not 41) is far behind at 5 percent with Bill Clinton at 4 percent. All bunched up at about 2 percent are Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates, Pope Benedict XVI, Billy Graham, Jimmy Carter and Glenn Beck. The Dalai Lama gets 1 percent. Graham has made the top 10 list of most admired 54 times.
Only 6 percent of Republicans named Obama as their most admired man, but that was offset by the 46 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of independents that chose him. The top choice of Republicans was Bush 43 at 11 percent.
Among women, Hillary Clinton was chosen as most admired by 17 percent, while Palin was named by 12 percent and Winfrey by 11 percent. Michelle Obama came in fourth at 5 percent, followed by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Queen Elizabeth at 2 percent each, with Angelina Jolie, Margaret Thatcher, Aung San Suu Kyi, Laura Bush and Barbara Bush all at about 1 percent.
Clinton has been number one on the list 15 times since she first made it in 1992 when Bill Clinton swept into the White House.
Thirty-one percent of Democrats chose Clinton as their most admired woman compared to 13 percent who picked Winfrey and 10 percent who named Michelle Obama. Twenty-six percent of Republicans chose Palin, with only 5 percent picking Clinton. Eight percent chose Winfrey. Fifteen percent of independents chose Clinton, 10 percent picked Winfrey and 7 percent favored Palin.
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