A new Gallup poll has results that just don’t seem in keeping with what you’d expect if you listen to Rush Limbaugh or watch Fox News: President Barack Obama continues to be the most admired man and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (who has been at the top of this poll heap for many years) is the most admired woman:
Americans continue to name Hillary Clinton as the woman living anywhere in the world whom they admire most, and name Barack Obama as the man they admire most. Clinton has held the top women’s spot in each of the last 13 years and 17 of the last 18, with that streak interrupted only by first lady Laura Bush in 2001 after the 9/11 terror attacks. Obama has been most admired man in each of the last seven years, beginning with 2008, the year he was elected president.
Gallup has been doing this poll for 7 decades. And Clinton remains the most admired woman in the poll’s history:
In total, Clinton has been most admired woman 19 times, easily the most of any woman in Gallup’s history of asking the most admired question, six more times than Eleanor Roosevelt. Clinton won the distinction from 1993 to 1994 and 1997 to 2000 when she was first lady; from 2002 to 2008 when she was a U.S. senator; and from 2009 to 2012 when she was secretary of state. Although she has had no formal public role during the last two years, she retains a high enough profile to top the list. Clinton is the presumed front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, should she decide to run.
Clinton’s margin over second-place Oprah Winfrey is four percentage points, 12% to 8% — the smallest lead for Clinton since a two-point lead over Winfrey in 2007. During her years as most admired woman, Clinton’s lead over the second-place finisher has generally been smaller when she held a partisan political role as U.S. senator or a presidential candidate than when she held a less partisan role as first lady or secretary of state. The more politicized views of Clinton have also been evident in the decline in her favorable ratings among all Americans since she resigned as secretary of state.
Obama has appeared on the top 10 list each year since 2006, including ranking No. 1 in each of the last seven years, all by healthy margins over the second-place finisher. The incumbent president is nearly always the winner of the most admired distinction, having placed first in all but 12 of the 68 years the question has been asked.
Most of those 12 exceptions have come when the president was unpopular, including in 2008 when President-elect Obama finished ahead of George W. Bush; in 1980 when Pope John Paul II edged out Jimmy Carter; during the Watergate era of 1973-1975; in the late 1960s during the height of the Vietnam War; and for much of Harry Truman’s presidency when he was overshadowed by Gens. Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur.
The remainder of the top 10 men this year is mainly a mix of religious figures, such as Pope Francis and the Rev. Billy Graham, and political figures — including former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Russian President Vladimir Putin and potential 2016 presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson. Businessman and philanthropist Bill Gates, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and political commentator Bill O’Reilly also finished in the top 10.
Graham’s top 10 finish this year brings his unprecedented total appearances on the list to 58. …
The poll is yet another reminder that what you read, see or hear in ideological news media or read in blogs (with the exception of The Moderate Voice, of course) may not coincide with reality.
But wait: place your bets now on how you hear that this poll was rigged or the methodology was bad. (You read that here first…)
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.