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Clinton soars, Palin plummets in most-admired survey

January 3, 2013 by NCC Staff


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sets a record in Gallup’s annual most-admired survey, while Sarah Palin falls farther off the popularity radar.


Gallup has run its most-admired man and woman survey since World War II, and in the 2012 edition, Clinton and President Barack Obama kept their top positions among those asked a simple question: “What man that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world, do you admire most? And who is your second choice?”


Link: Read the survey


Clinton was named as most-admired woman for the 17th time since she became a national figure in 1992. Eleanor Roosevelt held the previous record when she was named 13 times as the most-admired woman.


The only two women to finish ahead of Clinton in that 20-year period were Mother Teresa (twice) and Laura Bush (once).


Obama was named most-admired man for the fifth time. President Dwight Eisenhower was named 12 times in the survey as most admired.


Palin came within one percentage point of matching Hillary Clinton in 2009, when she had 15 percent of the polling, compared with 16 percent for Clinton.


In 2012, Palin had just 2 percent of the polling, finishing in a fifth-place tie. Clinton had 21 percent, followed by First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Condoleezza Rice.


President Barack Obama had 30 percent of the polling for men, followed by Nelson Mandela, Mitt Romney, the Reverend Billy Graham, George W. Bush, and Pope Benedict XVI.


The pollsters at Gallup say it’s not unusual for the current president to be named as most-admired man. But in the past, Pope John Paul II, Henry Kissinger, and then-former president Eisenhower were picked over sitting presidents.


With the exception of Mother Teresa, the eight most popular women in the poll since 1946 have had political connections. Margaret Thatcher and Jacqueline Kennedy won a combined 11 times.


The Reverend Billy Graham has appeared in the top 10 list a staggering 56 times, with Ronald Reagan second with 31 appearances. Queen Elizabeth II has been in the top 10 list 46 times. However, neither Graham nor the queen were ever named first in the poll.


Among the names from the 2011 top 10 list that didn’t make it in the following year are Angeline Jolie, Warren Buffett, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Laura Bush, Ellen DeGeneres, and Michele Bachmann.


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