George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton Most Admired Again

by Jeffrey M. Jones

Billy Graham finishes in top 10 for 50th time

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- For the fifth consecutive year, George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton are mentioned most often when Gallup asks the public which man and woman, living anywhere in the world, they admire most. The Reverend Billy Graham ranks among the top 10 most admired men for a record 50th time.

For more than 50 years, Gallup has been asking the open-ended most admired man and woman questions. This year's results are from a Dec. 11-14, 2006 poll.

Most Admired Man

Bush tops the list of most admired men once again, being named as such by 13% of Americans. Bush has rated as the most admired man each of the six years he has been president. Former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter rank second and third on the list, with Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the Rev. Billy Graham, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Pope Benedict XVI, former South African President Nelson Mandela, the elder George Bush, and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates rounding out the top 10.

 

Most Admired Man, Dec. 11-14, 2006 Gallup Poll

% Mentioning

Number of Top 10 Finishes

1

George W. Bush

13

7

2

Bill Clinton

5

15

3

Jimmy Carter

4

25

4

Barack Obama

3

1

5

(Reverend) Billy Graham

3

50

6

Colin Powell

2

15

7

Pope Benedict XVI

2

2

8

Nelson Mandela

1

15

George H.W. Bush

1

17

10

Bill Gates

1

8

George W. Bush's first place finish may seem unusual given his job approval ratings are in the 30% range, but presidents usually are the most admired men, having won the honor 49 of the 60 times the question has been asked. The last time a sitting president was not named most admired was 1980, when Pope John Paul II finished ahead of Jimmy Carter (who had just been voted out of office). Bush's flagging popularity is, however, evident in the fact that the 13% who mention him as most admired man is the lowest of his presidency, down from 19% last year and 23% or higher from 2001 through 2004.

Obama appears in the top 10 list for the first time this year, and the elder Bush reappears in the top 10 for the first time since 1999.

Bono, Arizona Sen. John McCain, and the Dalai Lama fell out of the top 10 this year. The latter two are among a large group of men who were mentioned by at least 1% of Americans but did not make the top 10 -- which is determined based on total mentions rather than percentages. That list includes outgoing United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, actor George Clooney, actor Mel Gibson, former Vice President Al Gore, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson

Graham's appearance in the top 10 is his 50th. He has appeared in the top 10 every year the poll has been asked since 1963, and made his initial appearance in 1955. Ronald Reagan, with 31 appearances, has the second most all-time appearances for men, while Queen Elizabeth's 40 top 10 appearances rank her the best among women.

In addition to Graham, Carter (with 25 top 10 finishes), the elder Bush (17), Bill Clinton (15), Powell (15), and Mandela (15) are among this year's entrants who have frequently made the top 10.

Most Admired Woman

New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's first place finish as the most admired woman is her 11th. She has finished first or second each year since 1993, with the second place finishes coming in 1995 and 1996 (to Mother Teresa) and 2001 (to Laura Bush). Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is second for the fifth year in a row, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a close third and Laura Bush fourth. These four women have comprised the top four each of the past four years. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie, incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former first lady Barbara Bush, and author Maya Angelou round out the top 10.

 

Most Admired Woman, Dec. 11-14, 2006 Gallup Poll

% Mentioning

Number of Top 10 Finishes

1

Hillary Rodham Clinton

13

15

2

Oprah Winfrey

9

19

3

Condoleezza Rice

8

6

4

Laura Bush

4

6

5

Margaret Thatcher

2

28

6

Angelina Jolie

2

2

7

Nancy Pelosi

1

1

Madeleine Albright

1

10

9

Barbara Bush

1

18

10

Maya Angelou

1

10

There has been slightly more change in the top 10 list for women this year than there was for men, with Martha Stewart, Elizabeth Dole, Sandra Day O'Connor, and Barbara Walters falling out of the top 10 and Pelosi, Albright, and Bush joining. Dole, Walters, and Queen Elizabeth all received at least 1% even though they did not make the top 10 this year.

Pelosi's top 10 appearance is her first. Thatcher's 28th top 10 appearance ties her with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for the second-most appearances of all-time among women, behind Queen Elizabeth. Thatcher has ranked in the top 10 every year since 1979. Winfrey makes the list for the 19th consecutive time since 1988, while Bush (18), Clinton (15), Albright (10), and Angelou (10) have also made 10 or more appearances.

While presidents have typically been named the most admired man, the most admired woman has come from a more varied background, although first ladies and former first ladies have figured prominently. Of the 58 most admired women, 20 have been former first ladies (which would increase to 25 depending on how Clinton's last five years are classified), 18 have been sitting first ladies, 14 have been politicians (including Clinton's last five appearances), and 6 have been humanitarians.

Responses Vary by Party, Gender

George W. Bush earns the distinction of most admired man with almost no assistance from Democrats. Thirty-three percent of Republicans and 8% of independents name him, but less than one-half of one percent of Democrats do. Bill Clinton is the leading vote-getter among Democrats, followed by Carter and Obama.

 

Choice of Most Admired Man, by Party

Democrats

%

Independents

%

Republicans

%

           

Bill Clinton

11

George W. Bush

8

George W. Bush

33

Barack Obama

6

Jimmy Carter

6

Billy Graham

6

Jimmy Carter

6

Bill Clinton

3

George H.W. Bush

4

Colin Powell

3

Billy Graham

3

Colin Powell

3

Nelson Mandela

3

Barack Obama

2

John McCain

2

Similarly, Hillary Clinton owes her distinction of most admired woman to the help of Democrats (22%) and independents (13%), though 3% of Republicans also mention her. Condoleezza Rice and Laura Bush rate as the top two choices for Republicans.

 

Choice of Most Admired Woman, by Party

Democrats

%

Independents

%

Republicans

%

           

Hillary Rodham Clinton

22

Hillary Rodham Clinton

13

Condoleezza Rice

16

Oprah Winfrey

8

Oprah Winfrey

12

Laura Bush

11

Condoleezza Rice

3

Condoleezza Rice

5

Oprah Winfrey

8

Nancy Pelosi

3

Laura Bush

3

Hillary Rodham Clinton

3

Madeleine Albright

3

Margaret Thatcher

1

Barbara Bush

3

Oprah Winfrey is much more likely to be mentioned as the most admired woman by women than by men. Fifteen percent of women mention Winfrey, compared with just 3% of men. Winfrey and Clinton are the top two choices among women. Meanwhile, Clinton and Rice are the top two choices among men. The results for most admired man show little variation by gender.

 

Choice of Most Admired Woman, by Gender

Men

%

Women

%

       

Hillary Rodham Clinton

11

Oprah Winfrey

15

Condoleezza Rice

10

Hillary Rodham Clinton

14

Laura Bush

4

Condoleezza Rice

5

Oprah Winfrey

3

Laura Bush

5

Margaret Thatcher

3

Angelina Jolie

2

   

Madeleine Albright

2

Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,010 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Dec. 11-14, 2006. 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, 2006)

 

   

Dec
2006

Dec
2005

Dec
2004

Dec
2003

Dec 2002

Dec 2001

Dec 2000

Dec 1999

Dec 1998

Dec 1997

Dec 1996

                         

1

George W. Bush

13

19

23

29

28

39

5

1

     

2

Bill Clinton

5

5

6

3

3

2

6

10

18

14

18

3

Jimmy Carter

4

3

4

1

9

1

1

3

2

3

4

4

Barack Obama

3

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

     

5

(Reverend) Billy Graham

3

2

3

2

2

2

4

7

5

6

6

6

Colin Powell

2

2

5

4

4

5

5

2

3

4

6

7

Pope Benedict XVI

2

3

--

--

--

--

--

--

     

8t

Nelson Mandela

1

2

2

2

1

1

3

4

2

3

3

8t

George H.W. Bush

1

1

*

*

*

1

1

2

3

3

3

10

Bill Gates

1

3

1

1

*

*

1

3

2

2

*

 

Kofi Annan

1

*

*

1

1

1

--

--

     
 

John McCain

1

1

1

*

*

*

--

1

     
 

George Clooney

1

--

*

--

*

*

--

*

     
 

Mel Gibson

1

*

1

--

*

*

--

--

   

1

 

Al Gore

1

--

*

*

1

*

5

2

2

2

1

 

Tony Blair

1

1

2

2

1

2

*

*

1

   
 

Rudolph Giuliani

1

*

1

*

1

4

--

*

     
 

Arnold Schwarzenegger

1

*

1

1

--

*

*

*

     
 

Jesse Jackson

1

*

*

*

*

*

1

1

1

2

2

 

Dalai Lama

1

1

1

1

1

*

1

1

     
 

Bono

*

1

*

*

--

--

--

--

     
 

Gordon B. Hinckley

*

1

*

1

*

1

1

1

     
 

John Edwards

*

*

1

--

--

--

--

--

     
 

Donald Trump

*

*

1

*

--

--

--

1

     
 

Michael Jordan

*

*

*

--

*

1

1

1

4

2

3

 

Rush Limbaugh

*

*

--

*

*

*

--

1

   

2

 

John Kerry

--

*

2

*

*

*

--

--

     
 

Norman Schwartzkopf

--

*

*

--

*

*

--

*

1

2

3

 

Ross Perot

--

*

--

*

--

--

--

1

*

1

1

 

Bob Dole

--

--

*

--

*

--

--

--

1

1

4

 

Pope John Paul II

--

--

3

4

3

3

6

6

7

5

8

 

Ronald Reagan

--

--

--

2

1

1

3

4

3

3

4

                         
 

Friend/Relative

7

6

3

4

4

3

5

10

12

10

11

 

Other

21

25

20

24

21

17

26

25

34

31

33

 

None/No opinion

29

27

24

25

27

22

33

25

29

34

27

* = Less than 0.5%

Contact Gallup for full trend, 1946-2006.

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, 2006)

 

   

Dec
2006

Dec
2005

Dec
2004

Dec
2003

Dec 2002

Dec 2001

Dec 2000

Dec 1999

Dec 1998

Dec 1997

Dec 1996

                         

1

Hillary Rodham Clinton

13

13

13

16

7

8

19

14

28

14

13

2

Oprah Winfrey

9

12

11

7

6

5

4

6

8

5

5

3

Condoleezza Rice

8

10

7

4

2

2

*

--

     

4

Laura Bush

4

4

8

6

6

12

*

--

     

5

Margaret Thatcher

2

3

3

2

3

2

4

4

4

5

4

6

Angelina Jolie

2

1

*

*

--

*

--

--

     

7t

Nancy Pelosi

1

*

--

*

*

*

--

--

     

7t

Madeleine Albright

1

*

1

1

1

1

3

3

3

4

2

9

Barbara Bush

1

*

2

3

3

3

2

3

3

5

6

10

Maya Angelou

1

1

1

*

1

1

1

1

2

2

 
 

Queen Elizabeth

1

*

1

1

1

*

1

2

1

1

1

 

Barbara Walters

1

1

*

*

1

1

*

1

     
 

Elizabeth Dole

1

1

1

1

2

1

2

4

6

2

5

 

Martha Stewart

*

1

1

*

*

*

*

--

     
 

Sandra Day O'Connor

*

1

*

*

*

*

1

--

*

1

1

 

Nancy Reagan

*

1

1

1

*

*

--

1

*

1

2

 

Barbara Boxer

*

1

*

*

*

--

--

*

     
 

Rosalynn Carter

*

*

*

*

1

*

*

*

*

*

1

 

Wangari Maathai

--

--

1

--

--

--

--

--

     
 

Halle Berry

--

--

1

--

*

--

--

--

     
 

Janet Reno

--

--

*

--

*

*

*

*

1

1

 
 

Barbra Streisand

*

--

--

*

*

*

*

*

*

1

1

 

Mother Teresa

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

23

 

Princess Diana

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

4

                         
 

Friend/Relative

6

8

8

9

7

4

8

12

13

13

16

 

Other

21

18

18

22

24

21

25

22

27

24

28

 

None/No opinion

30

29

27

31

28

40

34

33

29

34

25

* = Less than 0.5%

Contact Gallup for full trend, 1946-2006.

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