U.S. President Trump and former first lady Michelle Obama have been named the most admired man and woman in 2020, according to an annual survey by Gallup. The analytics and advisory company conducted the poll by telephone with a random sample of 1,018 adults across the country in the first weeks of December.
This is Michelle Obama’s third straight year as the most admired woman in America. For Trump, this is his first time topping the list alone, toppling his predecessor, Barack Obama. As the most admired man in 2020, Trump has ended Obama’s 12-year run atop the list. In 2019, Trump tied with the former president but this time, he was able to move off with 18%, 3% ahead of his predecessor.
Trump didn’t have a good year — getting impeached, losing reelection and being criticized for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, he remains popular among Republicans. According to Gallup, few Republicans name anyone other than Trump while Democrats split their votes.
Barack finished behind Trump in this year’s ranking among men at 15%. President-elect Joe Biden came in third with 6% and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, followed with 3%. The remaining top 10 men were Pope Francis, businessman Elon Musk, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, basketball player LeBron James, and the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists.
Breaking it down along national political party lines, Gallup said 48% of Republicans chose Trump this year, with no other public figure receiving more than 2% of their votes. Barack was the top choice among Democrats with 32%, but that is down from last year’s 41%. Biden, 13%, was also commonly named by Democrats. Michelle Obama, as the most admired woman, received 10% of the votes. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris followed her with 6% and first lady Melania Trump came in third place with 4%.
Following the three were TV personality Oprah Winfrey, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former first lady Hillary Clinton, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Queen Elizabeth II, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and climate change activist Greta Thunberg.
“Past, present and future White House occupants, whether presidents or first ladies, have figured prominently when Gallup has asked Americans to name the man and woman they admire most,” Gallup said Tuesday. “As such, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden are likely to remain strong contenders for the most admired man title in the coming years.”
The analytics and advisory company said should Trump continue to dominate Republicans’ consciousnesses, he will have a good chance of winning in years to come, especially if Democrats continue to split their choices between Obama and Biden.
It further indicated that Harris may overtake Michelle Obama as the most admired woman in the coming year since she is likely to raise her national profile due to the role she will be playing in the Biden administration.