George W. and Laura Bush Top List of Most Admired

by Jeffrey M. Jones

President gets highest score ever for most admired man

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup's annual "most admired man and woman" poll finds President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush topping the list. Americans have typically rated presidents and first ladies as the most admirable, so 2001 does not represent a dramatic change from previous years. This year, however, George W. Bush received more mentions than has any other man in the 50-plus years Gallup has asked this question, dating back to 1948. Bush's 39% score surpasses the previous high (32%) set by John Kennedy in 1961. Bush's score is not the highest recorded for either a man or a woman. In 1963, shortly after President Kennedy was assassinated, 60% of Americans named Jacqueline Kennedy as the most admired woman.

Bush Most Admired for First Time

At 39%, George W. Bush easily outdistanced all other men this year when Americans are asked: "What man that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world, do you admire most?" Last year, by way of comparison, Americans displayed little consensus -- 6% found Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II most admirable, and Colin Powell, George W. Bush, and Al Gore were mentioned by 5%. This year, Secretary of State Colin Powell places second behind Bush, followed by New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and Pope John Paul II. The Reverend Billy Graham made the list again this year, the 44th time he has done so, far more often than any other man.

Most Admired Men, 2001

   
 

Percent

Mentioning

   

George W. Bush

39

Colin Powell

5

Rudolph Giuliani

4

Pope John Paul II

3

(Reverend) Billy Graham

2

Bill Clinton

2

Tony Blair

2

Michael Jordan

1

Jimmy Carter

1

Nelson Mandela

1

Laura Bush Is Most Admired Woman

Americans mention Laura Bush as the most admired woman in 2001, although by not nearly the same margin as her husband in the most admired man category. New York Senator and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton placed second, ending her eight-year run as the most admired woman. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is third, followed by the president's mother and former first lady, Barbara Bush. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher tie for fourth place.

Most Admired Woman, 2001

   
 

Percent

Mentioning

   

Laura Bush

12

Hillary Rodham Clinton

8

Oprah Winfrey

5

Barbara Bush

3

Condoleezza Rice

2

Margaret Thatcher

2

Madeleine Albright

1

Elizabeth Dole

1

Julia Roberts

1

Madonna

1

President Gets Highest Score Ever

Bush's selection as the most admired man is not surprising, given how prominent he has been in the minds of Americans this year as the public has rallied around its government leaders like never before. In addition to being named the most admired man by a higher score than any previous winner, Bush also holds the distinction of having received the highest job approval rating for a president in Gallup's polling history. In a Sept. 21-22 poll, 90% of Americans approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president, and he has had approval ratings of 86% or higher since Sept. 11.

Following is a list of the 10 highest scores for men and women in Gallup's polling history. Each of the top men was a sitting president. Each of the top women was first lady at some point, but in no case was the woman serving as first lady when the score was achieved.

Top Scores, Most Admired Men and Women, Gallup Polls, 1948-2001

             

 

Man

 

Year

Percent Mentioning

 

 

Woman

 

Year

Percent Mentioning

             

George W. Bush

2001

39

 

Jacqueline Kennedy

1963

60

John Kennedy

1961

32

 

Jacqueline Kennedy

1967

46

Dwight Eisenhower

1953

29

 

Eleanor Roosevelt

1960

36

Lyndon Johnson

1963

29

 

Eleanor Roosevelt

1961

35

Ronald Reagan

1983

28

 

Mamie Eisenhower

1952

33

Dwight Eisenhower

1952

27

 

Eleanor Roosevelt

1949

32

Dwight Eisenhower

1954

27

 

Eleanor Roosevelt

1957

30

Dwight Eisenhower

1957

27

 

Eleanor Roosevelt

1948

29

Lyndon Johnson

1965

27

 

Eleanor Roosevelt

1953

29

Ronald Reagan

1988

27

 

Jacqueline Kennedy

1966

29

Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,019 adults, 18 years and older, conducted Dec. 14-16, 2001. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 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.

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, 2001)

 

   

Dec
14-16,
2001

Dec 15-17, 2000

Dec
9-12
1999

Dec
28-29
1998

Dec
18-21
1997

Dec
9-11
1996

Dec
15-18
1995

Dec
16-18
1994

Dec
17-19
1993

                     
   

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

1.

George W. Bush

39

5

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

2.

Colin Powell

5

5

2

3

4

6

9

3

3

3.

Rudolph Giuliani

4

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

4.

Pope John Paul II

3

6

6

7

5

8

8

5

4

5.

(Reverend) Billy Graham

2

4

7

5

6

6

6

4

4

6.

Bill Clinton

2

6

10

18

14

18

17

13

20

7.

Tony Blair

2

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

8.

Michael Jordan

1

1

1

4

2

3

1

1

2

9.

Jimmy Carter

1

1

3

2

3

4

2

9

1

10.

Nelson Mandela

1

3

4

2

3

3

2

5

2

 

Ronald Reagan

1

3

4

3

3

4

3

4

3

 

Donald Rumsfeld

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

Kofi Annan

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

Gordon Hinckley

1

1

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

George H.W. Bush

1

1

2

3

3

3

4

5

6

 

Al Gore

--

5

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

Bill Gates

--

1

3

2

2

*

2

--

--

 

Jesse Jackson

--

1

1

1

2

2

1

1

1

 

Tiger Woods

--

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

The Dalai Lama

--

1

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

                     
 

Friend/Relative

3

5

10

12

10

11

13

10

10

 

Other

17

26

25

34

31

33

26

28

33

 

None/No opinion

22

33

25

29

34

27

31

33

22

                     

*

mentioned by less that 0.5 percent

--

too few, if any, mentions recorded that year for name to appear on coded list of admired men



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, 2001)

 

   

Dec
14-16,
2001

Dec 15-17, 2000

Dec
9-12
1999

Dec
28-29
1998

Dec
18-21
1997

Dec
9-11
1996

Dec
15-18
1995

Dec
16-18
1994

Dec
17-19
1993

                     
   

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

1.

Laura Bush

12

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

2.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

8

19

14

28

14

13

13

14

22

3.

Oprah Winfrey

5

4

6

8

5

5

4

4

2

4.

Barbara Bush

3

2

3

3

5

6

6

8

7

5.

Condoleezza Rice

2

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

6.

Margaret Thatcher

2

4

4

4

5

4

7

7

8

7.

Madeleine Albright

1

3

3

3

4

2

--

--

--

8.

Elizabeth Dole

1

2

4

6

2

5

1

--

1

9.

Julia Roberts

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

10.

Madonna

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

11.

Barbara Walters

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

12.

Maya Angelou

1

1

1

2

2

--

1

--

2

13.

Christiane Amanpour

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

Sandra Day O'Connor

--

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

Queen Elizabeth

--

1

2

1

1

1

3

1

2

 

Tipper Gore

--

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

Christine Whitman

--

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

Rosa Parks

--

*

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

                     
 

Friend/Relative

4

8

12

13

13

16

13

14

11

 

Other

21

25

22

27

24

28

23

27

27

 

None/No opinion

40

34

33

29

34

25

31

29

29

                     

*

mentioned by less than 0.5 percent

--

too few, if any, mentions recorded that year for name to appear on coded list of admired women



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