Chris White on December 27, 2017
President Donald Trump beat out Pope Francis to take the second most admired man in the world trophy behind former President Barack Obama, according to a Gallop poll released Wednesday morning.
Trump beat Francis, 14 percent to three percent, in a poll listing the man Americans most admired in 2017. Francis has been highly critical of the president in the past for his positions on global warming and immigration, among a range of other hot-button world issue. Francis ranks third in the poll.
The president’s poor approval ratings are preventing him from overtaking his Democratic predecessor.
“Trump’s unpopularity is holding him back from winning the most admired distinction,” Gallop said. Former presidents tend to see a significant uptick in approval ratings after they leave office. Historically low approval ratings while in office can leave a mark, the poll notes.
“The incumbent president is the usual winner,” Gallop added. “Since he is arguably the most prominent figure in the country — but when the president is unpopular, other well-known and well-liked men have been able to finish first.”
Obama, meanwhile, took the top spot for the tenth year in a row, starting in 2008 when he became president. He is the 17th most admired man in the world, according to the survey of 1,049 adults.
Only former President Dwight Eisenhower, who won the prize 12 times, has won Gallup’s the title more times than Obama. Gallop pollsters asked a series of open-ended questions to the respondents that likely complicates the survey’s conclusions.
About 25 percent of Americans, for instance, were unable to name a man or woman they most admire. Slightly less than 10 percent named a relative or a friend, while 13 percent do the same for women. The pollsters also separated categories between genders.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton narrowly beat former first lady Michelle Obama, 9 percent to 7 percent, to retain the top spot for the 16th consecutive year. Clinton has won 22 times overall, the most ever.
The 2017 list of most-admired men is rounded out with the Rev. Billy Graham, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist from Vermont.
Oprah Winfrey, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel came a distant second, third, and fourth, respectively, behind Clinton for the title of most-admired women.