Trump is not the first incumbent president not to be named most-admired man: Richard Nixon and George W Bush missed out in years of poor approval ratings
Wednesday brought bad news for Donald Trump: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are still the man and woman most admired by Americans, according to the results of an annual Gallup poll.
The current president, who is suffering brutally low approval ratings as his first year in the White House comes to a close, was second to Obama, polling 14% to 17% for his predecessor. In 2016, Obama led Trump by 22% to 15%.
Clinton, who lost the presidency to Trump in the electoral college despite beating him in the popular vote by nearly three million ballots, was named as most-admired American woman by 9% of Gallup respondents.
That was enough to put her two points ahead of Michelle Obama and five ahead of Oprah Winfrey in third. Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren took 3% of the vote, just ahead of German chancellor Angela Merkel and Queen Elizabeth II, both with 2%.
Melania Trump scored 1%, as did former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, current United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, Kate Middleton and Beyoncé Knowles.
Pope Francis was the third-most admired man in the US this year, at 3%, with 2% tallies for Arizona senator John McCain, billionaire inventor Elon Musk and the Rev Billy Graham. The Vermont senator Bernie Sanders scored 1%, level with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Dalai Lama and vice-president Mike Pence.
Trump is not the first incumbent president not to be named most-admired man: Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George W Bush all missed out in years corresponding to poor approval ratings.
Many of Trump’s actions in his first year in office have been interpreted as attempts to undo the legacy of Obama, whose qualification for the presidency he has questioned through his championing of the controversial “birther” movement and who famously mocked him for such activities at a 2011 dinner in Washington.
Trump also trails Obama in Time magazine Person of the Year wins, 2-1, and 23-14 in appearances on the cover of the same publication, a metric known to be close to Trump’s heart. The Gallup poll may therefore further frustrate the president.
Obama has topped the survey for 10 straight years, since 2008 when he was first elected to the White House. In total wins he trails only the second world war general and post-war president Dwight Eisenhower, who topped the poll 13 times.
Eisenhower and Obama are the only former presidents to have retained the title. Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, has now dropped out of the top 25.
Clinton has topped the survey 22 times in total and 16 times running: more than any other woman in US history and nine wins ahead of Eleanor Roosevelt. The last time someone else was named most-admired American woman was in 2001, when first lady Laura Bush took the title three months after the attacks of 9/11.
The survey has been conducted 71 times since 1946, with only the bicentennial year of 1976 un-polled.
According to Gallup, “a quarter of Americans cannot name a man or a woman they admire most” while 9% name a relative or friend as the most admired man and 13% do so for the most admired woman.
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