By Aaron Earls
When asked whom they most admire, Americans look to the ballot box before the pulpit.
Barack Obama and Donald Trump were the men most frequently named in Gallup’s survey, while Hillary Clinton topped the list of women.
Having politicians at the top is nothing new. In the 70 times Gallup has asked the question, the incumbent president has won 58 times.
Few faith leaders made the most recent list. Pope Francis, the highest ranking one, finished third behind Obama and Trump.
Billy Graham came in fifth, marking the 60th time he has finished in the top 10—a Gallup record.
Graham has made the top 10 every year the question has been asked since 1955, with the lone exception of 1962.
The Dalai Lama was the most admired man by 1 percent of the population, placing him in a tie for sixth.
The top 10 and the percentage who said they admired them most:
1. Barack Obama (22 percent)
2. Donald Trump (15 percent)
3. Pope Francis (4 percent)
4. Bernie Sanders (2 percent)
5. Billy Graham (1 percent)
6t. Benjamin Netanyahu (1 percent)
6t. The Dalai Lama (1 percent)
6t. Bill Clinton (1 percent)
6t. Bill Gates (1 percent)
10. Mike Pence (1 percent)
Thomas Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, received less than 1 percent and was the only other faith leader on the men’s list.
Eight percent say they admire a male friend or relative most. Around a quarter mention another person (24 percent) or say none or they have no opinion (23 percent).
No religious leader made the new women’s list.
In 1995 and 1996, Mother Teresa topped the list of most admired women. Hillary Clinton has won the honor every year since, with the exception of Laura Bush in 2001.
Including the latest list, Clinton has been named the most admired woman a record 21 times and 15 consecutive years.
The top 10 women and the percentage who said they admired them most:
- Hillary Clinton (12 percent)
- Michelle Obama (8 percent)
- Angela Merkel (3 percent)
- Oprah Winfrey (3 percent)
- Ellen DeGeneres (2 percent)
- Queen Elizabeth (2 percent)
- Malala Yousafzai (2 percent)
- Condoleezza Rice (2 percent)
- Elizabeth Warren (1 percent)
- Sarah Palin (1 percent)
More than 1 in 10 mention a female friend or relative (12 percent), while 22 percent say someone else and 31 percent say none or they had no opinion.
AARON EARLS (Aaron.Earls@Lifeway.com) is online editor of Facts & Trends.