Donald Trump, Michelle Obama named America’s most admired in 2020

For the first time in over a decade, former president Barack Obama is not granted the top spot in the annual survey.

Former first lady Michelle Obama and President Donald Trump earned the most votes for most admired man and woman in 2020.

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In the annual survey conducted by Gallup, Trump took over former President Barack Obama‘s 12-year run as the most admired man. According to the platform, in 2019, the two men tied for the top spot.

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Overall, Obama is tied with former president Dwight Eisenhower for the most ever 1st place wins in the poll. During the survey, participants are asked to name the man and woman they most admire, no matter the person’s geographical location.

POTUS earned 18% of the votes to take the number one spot. President Obama follows him with 15%, President-elect Joe Biden with 6%, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who placed in the top 10 for the first time with 3%, and Pope Francis rounded out the top five with 2%.

According to Gallup, it is typical for the incumbent president to be named most admired. Since the survey began to be conducted in 1946, 60 times out of 74, the commander in chief received the most votes.

The years a president did not finish first includes Harry Truman (1946-1947 and 1950-1952), Lyndon Johnson (1967-1968), Richard Nixon (1973), Gerald Ford (1974-1975), Jimmy Carter (1980), George W. Bush (2008) and Donald Trump (2017-2018).

The votes were also notably split among political parties. Gallup revealed Obama was the top choice among Democrats, at 32%, but that is down from 41% last year. Fauci was named by 5% of Democrats, but only 1% of Republicans. Independent voters selected both Trump and Obama at an 11% rate.

In total, 48% of Republicans named Trump this year, which ultimately lead to him being ranked in the top 10 men for the 10th time. Previously, he was listed in 1988 through 1990 and 2011.

Michelle Obama and Donald Trump Photo: Getty Images

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With 1% of votes each, Elon MuskBernie SandersBill GatesLebron James, and the Dalai Lama round out 2020’s top 10 most admired men. According to Gallup, this James’ first year in the top ten. Among those surveyed, 11% named a relative or another non-public figure as the man they admire most, while 21% did not name anyone in response to the open-ended question.

For women, Gallup has asked 71 times since 1948, and since the initiation of the survey, the First Lady is likely to come out on top. The survey results named a current First Lady 18 times or a former First Lady 39 times, with the woman holding the title at least once in their life winning a total of 57 times. 

This year, Michelle Obama was named by 10% of Americans as their most admired woman. In second place is Vice President-elect Kamala Harris with 6%, while Melania Trump is ranked third with 4%. Throughout her husband’s presidency, Mrs. Trump has been in the top 10 but has never finished first.

The top 10 women named most admirable is a more diverse list than the men mentioned above. In fourth place is Oprah Winfrey, followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Queen Elizabeth II, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and climate change activist Greta Thunberg respectively. It is both Harris and Ocasio-Cortez’s first time named in the top 10.

According to its website, Gallup interviews a minimum of 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older for each survey in the Gallup Poll Social Series. The specifics for this poll “are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 1-17, 2020, with a random sample of 1,018 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.”

The Gallup poll is not the first end-of-the-year list for some of these nominees. Biden and Harris were named TIME’s 2020 Person of the Year after their defeat of Trump in the presidential election, according to theGrio. 

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (Instagram)

“For changing the American story, for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division, for sharing a vision of healing in a grieving world, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are TIME’s 2020 Person of the Year,” wrote the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal.

Superstar NBA Player Lebron James has also been named by various platforms as the top sportsperson, including TIME’s Athlete of the Year. According to theGrio, the Akron-bred basketball player was recognized for his efforts to use his platform for social change.

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“After nearly two decades in the NBA, James has fully embraced that his talent on the court is a means to achieving something greater off it,” the outlet wrote, according to the report. “And this year, more than in any before it, he showed why he is unrivaled in both.”

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