George W. Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton Most Admired in 2003

by Jeffrey M. Jones

Third time outright for Bush, sixth for Clinton

PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup's annual poll of the most admired people in the world shows George W. Bush receiving the distinction as most admired man in the eyes of the American public for the third consecutive year, and Hillary Rodham Clinton as the consensus choice for most admired woman for the sixth time, and for the first time since 2000. The Rev. Billy Graham once again finished among the Top 10 men, the 46th time he has done so, while Queen Elizabeth II of England appeared among the most admired women for the 39th time.

Near the end of each year, Gallup asks Americans to name the man and woman, living in any part of the world today, that they admire most. The question was first asked in 1948 and has been repeated nearly every year since then. This year's poll was conducted Dec. 5-7.

Most Admired Man

Twenty-nine percent of Americans mention George W. Bush as the man they admire most. No other man comes close this year, as only 4% mention Secretary of State Colin Powell and Pope John Paul II, 3% mention former President Bill Clinton, and 2% mention Nelson Mandela, Graham, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and former President Ronald Reagan.

Most Admired Man, 2003

Name

Percent Mentioning

%

George W. Bush

29

Colin Powell

4

Pope John Paul II

4

Bill Clinton

3

Nelson Mandela

2

(Reverend) Billy Graham

2

Tony Blair

2

Ronald Reagan

2

Jimmy Carter

1

Bill Gates

1

This is the third year in a row Bush has been the most admired man, including a record high 39% of all mentions in 2001. In 2000, during the Florida election recount controversy, Bush was one of several names clustered at the top of the list, with no clear choice for the most admired man.

Presidents have generally dominated the top spot in the history of this question, and Bush's current 29% score rates among the best any incumbent president has received.

Graham, Reagan, and Pope John Paul II have appeared in the Top 10 more than any other people dating back to 1948. Graham has been mentioned as one of the most admired men 46 times in the 49 times it has been asked. Reagan (30 times) and Pope John Paul II (26 times) have also made regular appearances on the list, and have the second and third most appearances on the list.

Reagan was the consensus choice as most admired man each year from 1981 to 1988.

Most Admired Woman

The list of most admired women finds New York Sen. Hillary Clinton as the clear leader for the first time since 2000. Other women mentioned frequently include talk show host Oprah Winfrey (7%), first lady Laura Bush (6%), and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (4%).

Most Admired Woman, 2003

Name

Percent Mentioning

%

Hillary Rodham Clinton

16

Oprah Winfrey

7

Laura Bush

6

Condoleezza Rice

4

Barbara Bush

3

Margaret Thatcher

2

Queen Elizabeth II

1

Madeleine Albright

1

Nancy Reagan

1

Elizabeth Dole

1

While Hillary Clinton's Thanksgiving week visits to American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq were overshadowed by Bush's surprise visit to Iraq on Thanksgiving Day, the publicity surrounding Bush's visit may have also helped improve Clinton's standing this year. The poll was conducted about a week after the trip.

In 2002, there was no consensus as to the most admired woman, but Clinton, Winfrey, and Laura Bush were the most often mentioned. In 2001, Laura Bush was most frequently mentioned as the most admired woman (12%).

This is the sixth time Clinton has been the consensus choice as most admired woman, although in every instance (1993, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000) it was during her time as first lady. She has been at or near the top of the list since 1992, including statistical ties with Bush and Winfrey in 2002 and with Mother Teresa in 1994 and 1995. Mother Teresa was the consensus choice in 1996 (23%).

Queen Elizabeth II of England made the Top 10 for the 39th time this year -- the most often-cited woman in the history of this question (the most admired woman question has been asked 46 times). Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher also appeared for the 22nd time this year. Winfrey and former first lady Barbara Bush make their 16th appearances this year.

Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,004 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Dec. 5-7, 2003. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

1. 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?

COMBINED FIRST AND SECOND CHOICES (Ranked according to number of responses, 2003)

Dec
'03

Dec
'02

Dec
'01

Dec
'00

Dec
'99

Dec
'98

Dec
'97

Dec
'96

Dec
'95

Dec
'94

Dec
'93

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

1.

George W. Bush

29

28

39

5

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

2.

Colin Powell

4

4

5

5

2

3

4

6

9

3

3

3.

Pope John Paul II

4

3

3

6

6

7

5

8

8

5

4

4.

Bill Clinton

3

3

2

6

10

18

14

18

17

13

20

5.

Nelson Mandela

2

1

1

3

4

2

3

3

2

5

2

6.

(Reverend) Billy Graham

2

2

2

4

7

5

6

6

6

4

4

7.

Tony Blair

2

1

2

*

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

8.

Ronald Reagan

2

1

1

3

4

3

3

4

3

4

3

9.

Jimmy Carter

1

9

1

1

3

2

3

4

2

9

1

10.

Bill Gates

1

*

*

1

3

2

2

*

2

--

--

Dalai Lama

1

1

*

1

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

Arnold Schwarzenegger

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Kofi Annan

1

1

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Gordon Hinckley

1

*

1

1

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

Rudolph Guiliani

*

1

4

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

George H.W. Bush

*

*

1

1

2

3

3

3

4

5

6

Howard Dean

*

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Al Gore

*

1

*

5

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Denzel Washington

*

1

*

*

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Henry Kissinger

*

*

*

--

--

--

--

--

--

1

--

Jesse Jackson

*

*

*

1

1

1

2

2

1

1

1

Michael Jordan

--

*

1

1

1

4

2

3

1

1

2

Friend/Relative

4

4

3

5

10

12

10

11

13

10

10

Other

24

21

17

26

25

34

31

33

26

28

33

None/No opinion

25

27

22

33

25

29

34

27

31

33

22

* Less than 0.5%

2. What woman 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?

COMBINED FIRST AND SECOND CHOICES (Ranked according to number of responses, 2003)

Dec
'03

Dec
'02

Dec
'01

Dec
'00

Dec
'99

Dec
'98

Dec
'97

Dec
96

Dec
'95

Dec
'94

Dec
'93

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

1.

Hillary (Rodham) Clinton

16

7

8

19

14

28

14

13

13

14

22

2.

Oprah Winfrey

7

6

5

4

6

8

5

5

4

4

2

3.

Laura Bush

6

6

12

*

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

4.

Condoleezza Rice

4

2

2

*

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

5.

Barbara Bush

3

3

3

2

3

3

5

6

6

8

7

6.

Margaret Thatcher

2

3

2

4

4

4

5

4

7

7

8

7.

Queen Elizabeth II

1

1

*

1

2

1

1

1

3

1

2

8.

Madeleine Albright

1

1

1

3

3

3

4

2

--

--

--

9.

Nancy Reagan

1

*

--

--

--

--

1

2

--

1

--

10.

Elizabeth Dole

1

2

1

2

4

6

2

5

1

--

1

Jennifer Lopez

*

2

*

*

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Maya Angelou

*

1

1

1

1

2

2

--

1

--

2

Barbara Walters

*

1

1

*

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Rosalynn Carter

*

1

*

*

*

*

*

1

1

1

--

Elizabeth Taylor

*

1

*

*

--

--

--

--

1

1

2

Julia Roberts

*

*

1

*

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Madonna

*

*

1

*

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Sandra Day O'Connor

*

*

*

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Rosa Parks

*

*

*

*

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

Tipper Gore

--

*

--

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Christine Whitman

--

*

*

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

Mother Teresa

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

23

15

14

14

Princess Diana

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

4

5

3

3

Friend/Relative

9

7

4

8

12

13

13

16

13

14

11

Other

22

24

21

25

22

27

24

28

23

27

27

None/No opinion

31

28

40

34

33

29

34

25

31

29

29

* Less than 0.5%

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