December 28, 2015

Trump ties Pope Francis as second ‘most admired,’ behind Obama

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(Left) U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on December 19, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Scott Morgan
(Right) Pope Francis addresses a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York, on September 25, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Left) U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on December 19, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Scott Morgan (Right) Pope Francis addresses a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York, on September 25, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Mike Segar

(RNS) Americans’ most admired man and woman in the world are — once again — President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

But the shocker in the Gallup Poll’s Most Admired List released Monday (Dec. 28) may be the No. 2 spot in the survey, where Donald Trump tied Pope Francis in the year the pontiff visited this country for the first time.

Jeffrey Jones, in his analysis for Gallup, observed that Trump’s headliner controversies on the GOP campaign trail made the business mogul “top-of-mind for many Americans” in the open-ended questionnaire. Trump was in the top 10 in 1988-1990 and in 2011.

But as often happens in these polls, the folks behind No.1 have barely a fraction of the votes. While 17 percent of those surveyed named Obama, only 5 percent named Trump and the pontiff.


READ: What do 2016 election contenders believe? Check the RNS ‘5 faith facts’ series


And the percentages trail down rapidly from there to the point where, given the margin of error in the survey of 824 U.S. adults — plus or minus 4 percentage points — they’re all in a statistical tie.

Sen. Bernie Sanders came in at 3 percent and Bill Gates at 2 percent.

(Left) Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (REUTERS/Brian Snyder) and U.S. President Barack Obama (REUTERS/Saul Loeb/Pool ) top the 2015 Most Admired list.

(Left) Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (REUTERS/Brian Snyder) and U.S. President Barack Obama (REUTERS/Saul Loeb/Pool ) top the 2015 Most Admired list.

Clustered at the bottom of the list with 1 percent each are the usual contenders, including revered religious figures the Dalai Lama and evangelist Billy Graham along with George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson also received 1 percent.

This is the 59th time Graham has appeared on this list since 1955.

For women, most admired status often goes to government leaders, politicians and TV stars. With her 14th time at the top, Clinton set the record for number of years leading the list, for either men or women.


READ: Oprah’s ‘Belief’ series, a seven-day exploration of faith


But winning the Nobel Prize helps. The young activist for women’s education, Malala Yousafzai, came in second, at 5 percent of the votes behind Clinton’s 13 percent.

Oprah Winfrey, who launched a series on faith on her television channel this year, tied first lady Michelle Obama with 4 percent each.

And Americans put Carly Fiorina in a tie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and long-admired Queen Elizabeth at 2 percent.

Hanging on with one percent: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Ellen DeGeneres and — still popular — Sarah Palin.

(Cathy Lynn Grossman is a senior national correspondent for RNS)

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  • “But the shocker… Donald Trump tied Pope Francis”

    I’m not shocked. They are two peas in a pod:

    “If you swear at my mother, expect a punch!”
    – Pope Francis
    (after Charlie Hebdo massacre, Jan. 2015)

    “He deserved to be roughed up!”
    – Donald Trump
    (referring to a protester, December 2015)

    “Better to drown him with a millstone around his neck”
    – JESUS (Luke 17:2)

    Too bad the Atheists can’t catch a break!

    “I wish I could have saved more children. I did all I could.”
    – Nicholas Winton
    (1909-2015)
    Atheist who died in July saved 700 children from Hitler’s death camps.

  • Neon Genesis

    The only thing I think this survey can tell you is how out of touch Americans are in regards to prominent men and women.

  • Fran

    I admire Christ Jesus, God’s son, for his faithfulness to God until his death and for his ransom sacrifuce for mankind. What great love he showed to his Father and for us imperfect humans who continually make mistakes!

  • Fran,

    “I admire Jesus…for his ransom sacrifice..”

    What sacrifice? He died on a Friday and got back up on Sunday morning (supposedly) and flew into Paradise where he has been alive ever since – so what did he sacrifice? A really bad weekend?
    I doubt that compares to the sacrifices Senator McCain underwent during the Vietnam War or the ordeals of those who were stuck at Auschwitz for 4 years.

    You are not really thinking about any of this, are you?

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  • Richard Rush

    Fran,

    ” What great love he showed to his Father . . .”

    So, was Jesus a better person than me, or was he just an idiot? If my father had allowed me to be nailed to a cross while telling me he did it to benefit people who were not born yet, I certainly would not have loved him. At the very least, I would want him to seek psychiatric help, just as God needs to do.

  • hp

    Obama!? hahahahahahahahaha
    Obama #1 hahahahahahahahaha

    Help me, Lord..

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