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Presidents Obama and Trump tie for Most Admired Man in 2019

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Posted at 11:19 AM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 13:20:33-05

In many ways Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump couldn't be more different — but according to a new Gallup Poll, they have at least one thing in common. The two men have millions of loyal admirers, and this year they're tied as Gallup's Most Admired Man in 2019.

This marks former President Obama's 12th time at the top of the annual list, but he's now sharing the spotlight with President Trump. Gallup has been conducting the poll since 1948, asking Americans an open-ended question: name which man and woman anywhere in the world you admire the most.

There's been a consistent trend in the Most Admired Man lists — the top man is almost always the current president. Before Mr. Obama took the honor it belonged to President George W. Bush, and before that the Most Admired Man was President Bill Clinton.

This year's results reflected a sharp partisan divide in the survey. While Mr. Obama and Mr. Trump were each named by 18% of those surveyed, 41% of Democrats named Mr. Obama, 45% of Republicans named Mr. Trump — and very few crossed party lines.

Only three non-presidents have ever been voted Most Admired Man in the Gallup surveyes — Army General Douglas MacArthur in the years following World War II, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and Pope John Paul II.

This year, the two presidents are followed by former President Jimmy Carter, businessman Elon Musk, and philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Also this year, former First Lady Michelle Obama was named the Most Admired Woman for the second year in a row, earning 10% of the vote. Current first lady Melania Trump came in second, with 5% of the vote. Following her are Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton and climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Former first lady, secretary of state and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held the Most Admired Woman title from 2002 to 2017.

Most of her predecessors were first ladies, but over the years the Most Admired Woman list has been a bit more diverse than the men's. Australian nurse Sister Elizabeth Kenny, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, Ethel Kennedy, Mother Teresa, and Margaret Thatcher have also topped the list.