For the second straight year, President George W. Bush ranks No. 1 in Gallup’s “most admired man” poll, with first lady Laura tying New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and TV’s Oprah Winfrey for top honors among women.
The percentage of Americans who name Bush the most admired man has dipped 11 percent in the past year, but he still holds the record for highest vote total for any man in Gallup’s polling history.
The survey, taken Dec. 16-17, asked Americans to name the man and woman living in any part of the world today that they most admire, the same year-end question Gallup has asked the public for over half a century.
More than one-quarter, 28 percent, names Bush as the most admired man this year. Jimmy Carter, who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize, comes in second place, with nine percent of respondents mentioning him.
Rounding out the top five are Secretary of State Colin Powell at four percent, Pope John Paul II at three percent, and former President Bill Clinton, also at three percent.
Rev. Billy Graham, Nelson Mandela, Al Gore, Ronald Reagan, and actor Denzel Washington complete the top ten list of men, all receiving one to two percent.
No one stands out as a clear winner this year in the most admired woman category.
Hillary Clinton, with seven percent of the votes, barely edges out first lady Laura Bush and Oprah Winfrey, who each collected six percent.
Former first lady Barbara Bush and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher are mentioned by three percent, followed by actress/singer Jennifer Lopez, the newly elected Sen. Elizabeth Dole, and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, all named by two percent.
The survey comes on the heels of the “most corrupt” of 2002 list, where Hillary and Bill Clinton took top honors from the public-interest watchdog group Judicial Watch.
Although fewer Americans name Bush as most admired man this year, the president’s standing still ranks as one of the highest Gallup has recorded for any president.
Bush’s 39 percent total in the wake of Sept. 11 set Gallup’s all-time record high, and only three other commanders in chief fared better than Bush this year: John F. Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis in 1961, Lyndon Johnson the month after the Kennedy assassination in 1963, and Dwight Eisenhower in the first year of his administration in 1953.
The personal politics of respondents plays a factor in the 2002 results.
More than half of all Republicans, 52 percent, say Bush is the man they most admire. No other man comes close among GOP poll-takers. Among Democrats, however, Carter wins as the most admired man, named by 14 percent of Democrats. Bush follows closely behind Carter, with ten percent of Democrats’ votes.
Although there’s no one clear victor for most admired woman this year among older Americans, there’s a more distinct winner for 18-29 year olds. Jennifer Lopez, nicknamed J. Lo , gets the most mentions among younger Americans, with ten percent naming her. The actress and singer has been in the news lately due to her recent engagement to fellow actor Ben Affleck, plus releases of a new movie and new album.
No one woman stands out as most admirable for people aged 30-49, and Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush essentially tying among people aged 50 and older.