While this is Obama's twelveth time in the top spot, this is the first year the current President has bagged first place.
Former President Barack Obama and his successor Donald Trump tied for first place in a recently released Gallup poll that asked Americans to name the man "living today in any part of the world" that they admired most. Both earned the votes of eighteen percent poll participants each with the results indicative of the increasingly polarized political climate in the country. While this is Obama's twelveth time in the top spot, this is the first year the current President has bagged first place.
For the first time, President Donald Trump has been named the most-admired man in America.— TIME (@TIME) December 30, 2019
However, he’ll have to share the honor with the man who has held the top spot for the past 12 years — former President Barack Obama https://t.co/b8zNNoB2Uk
The political polarity in America is even more evident when breaking down the votes Obama and Trump gained in the poll. While 41 percent of Democrats name the former President, 45 percent of Republicans choose his successor. Few Democrats chose Trump and relatively few Republicans picked Obama, and independents appeared equally divided among both Presidents. The remainder of the 2019 top 10 list for men includes former President Jimmy Carter, businessman Elon Musk, philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Pope Francis, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Rep. Adam Schiff, the Dalai Lama, and investor Warren Buffett.
According to Gallup, historically, the incumbent President has almost always been Americans' choice as the most admired man. 58 of the 72 prior Gallup polls have seen incumbent Presidents take the title of the most admired man and in the years where they have not, it is usually because he is unpopular politically—as was the case for Trump in 2017 (36% approval rating) and 2018 (40%). However, President Trump's popularity has seen quite an increase this year when compared to the past two years. With a 45% job approval rating, the percentage of Americans naming him the most admired man went up from 13% in 2018 to 18% in 2019.
Furthermore, the Gallup poll that was conducted via telephone interviews between December 2 and December 15 with a random sample of 1,025 adults, brings better ratings for Trump than the YouGov poll earlier this year. A survey by the UK-based market research firm saw Obama ranked first in the most admired man in America list with 19.9 percent while Trump came in second with 11.5 percent. Meanwhile, the former President's 18 percent mentions among US adults as the most admired man in the Gallup poll are in line with his 2018 (19 percent) and 2017 (17 percent) figures.
Obama is the second former President to double-digit mentions at any point after leaving office with Dwight Eisenhower being the first. Their post-presidency popularity has paved the way for both former Presidents to finish first a record 12 times. "Each man was named most admired man in the year he was elected president and all eight years he was in office, plus three additional years," states Gallup.