POLL: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama ‘most admired’ people of 2012

Caroline May | Reporter

As the year comes to an end, a new USA Today/Gallup poll reveals that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are the “most admired” man and woman of 2012.

The poll, released Monday and based on results from a Dec.19-22 survey, found that when Americans were asked an open-ended question — to name the man and woman they most admire living anywhere in the world — 30 percent named Obama and 21 percent named Clinton.

Trailing Obama with 3 percent was former South African president Nelson Mandela. Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Rev. Billy Graham, former President George W. Bush and Pope Benedict XVI were each mentioned by 2 percent of respondents.

Following Clinton in popularity among females was first lady Michelle Obama with 5 percent, Oprah Winfrey with 4 percent, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with 3 percent and former Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin with 2 percent.

“The open-ended nature of the question produces the names of people with high top-of-mind name identification, most often hailing from the world of government and politics; the list also includes individuals who have become famous serving humanitarian causes and others whose fame comes from the business and entertainment worlds,” Gallup’s editor-in-chief Frank Newport wrote.

Obama has won the “Most Admired Man” title five times and Clinton has been the “Most Admired Woman” for the last 11 years. This is her 17th title overall, more than any other woman has won since 1948 Gallup began tracking the most admired woman in 1948. Former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt won the title 13 times.

Former President Dwight Eisenhower has won the most titles for the “Most Admired Man” with 12, followed by former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, with eight apiece.

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