WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump snagged a major legislative victory with the signing of his landmark tax reform bill last week, but he’s still living in his predecessor’s shadow when it comes to public admiration, according to a new poll.
Trump trailed former President Barack Obama as the most admired man for 2017, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday, marking one of the very few times in recent history that an incumbent president hasn’t taken the top spot.
Gallup has asked the most admired man question 71 times since 1946 and the sitting president has won 58 of those times, according to Gallup.
“Trump’s unpopularity is holding him back from winning the most admired distinction,” Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones said Wednesday. “The incumbent president is the usual winner since he is arguably the most prominent figure in the country — but when the president is unpopular, other well-known and well-liked men have been able to finish first.”
“Former presidents commonly make the top 10 list but rarely win, with Obama only the second to do so, along with Eisenhower in 1967 and 1968,” he added.
Seventeen percent of Americans surveyed named Obama as the man they admire most, while 14 percent named Trump, the poll said.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, was named America’s most admired woman, with 9 percent of the vote, while former first lady Michelle Obama came in second with 7 percent.
“Hillary Clinton has been named most admired more than any woman — or man — in Gallup’s polling history,” Jones said. “But the likelihood that she will continue to hold that honor in future years seems less certain, with her popularity at a nadir and the percentage naming her as most admired the lowest in 15 years.”
The poll was, however, largely split along party lines as Republicans were far more likely to name Trump than Obama.
Thirty-five percent of Republicans surveyed chose Trump as the man they admired most, while only 1 percent chose Obama, according to the poll. Meanwhile, 39 percent of Democrats named Obama, versus 3 percent who named Trump.
Other notable men on Gallup’s list included Pope Francis, Rev. Billy Graham, Sen. John McCain and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.
Media mogul Oprah Winfrey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and German Chancellor Angela Merkel rounded out the top 5 for most admired women, according to the poll, while about a quarter of those surveyed said they couldn’t name a man or a woman they admire most.
The poll was conducted via telephone between Dec. 4 and Dec. 11, using a random sample of 1,049 adults, Gallup said.