Maybe Republicans are more perceptive than I have given them credit for. Even with the Tea Party-fication of the GOP, Gallup’s year-end survey of the “most admired” people found that more GOPers list Obama (6 percent) than do talk media blowhard Glenn Beck (4 percent). There must be a conspiracy!
On the more disturbing side, Beck cracked the overall top 10 of most admired men. With 2 percent naming him most admired, Beck beat the Dalai Llama (1 percent) and tied Jimmy Carter. Gallup also lists the Pope, Billy Graham, Bill Gates, and Nelson Mandela as scoring 2 percent, but have Mandela ranking 4th, Gates 5th, the Pope and Graham tied for 6th, and then Beck and Carter tied for 8th. Presumably rounding makes them all look like they have the same 2 percent.
Which brings me to a fairly important point to make about this poll: The margin of error is +/- 4 percent, meaning that there’s a statistical tie among almost everyone on the list not named Barack Obama. But really why let such ticky-tack facts get in the way of polling fun?
Overall Obama is easily the most admired man, though his 22 percent is down from his 30 percent last year. George W. Bush (5 percent, up from 4 percent in 2009) and Bill Clinton (4 percent, up from 1 percent in 2009) round out the top three. Drilling down a bit more, Obama is most admired by Democrats (46 percent) and Independents (17 percent) and W. is tops among GOPers with 11 percent (Obama is second with 6 percent and then Beck and the Pope with 4 percent each, so again—statistical dead heat).
Hillary Clinton remains the most admired woman, so identified by 17 percent of those polled. She widened her lead over Sarah Palin, who once again comes in second with 12 percent (in 2009 Clinton was ahead of Palin by only 16-15). Oprah Winfrey (11 percent), Michelle Obama (5 percent), and Condoleezza Rice (2 percent) round out the top 5. (Let’s take a moment and marvel at the fact that three of the five most admired women are black.)
I would have thought Michelle Obama would have ranked better, but according to Gallup first ladies genuinely make the top 10 but rarely score the top overall spot. Go figure.