When Americans are given a choice, Donald Trump has a knack for coming in second place – and not just in the presidential popular vote. Gallup reported today on which national figures Americans admire most:
[F]ormer President Barack Obama was the winner among men for the 11th consecutive year, including one year as president-elect, eight as president and two as former president. President Donald Trump ranks second for the fourth year in a row.
Gallup’s annual survey, conducted Dec. 3-12 this year, asks Americans, in an open-ended question, to name the man and woman living anywhere in the world today whom they admire most. Gallup first asked the question in 1946 and has done so every year since, except 1976.
Looking back at our coverage from one year ago today, in the 2017 survey, Barack Obama was named by 17% of the poll’s respondents, and Trump was second with 14%. This year, Gallup reports that Obama came out on top with 19%, followed by Trump with 13%.
In other words, Obama did slightly better, and Trump did slightly worse, when compared to last year’s results.
Obama has now been voted the nation’s most admired man 10 times, which is second only to Dwight Eisenhower, who received the distinction 12 times. Indeed, Obama is only the second former president to receive the honor, following Eisenhower’s titles in the late 1960s.
Michelle Obama, meanwhile, was easily chosen as the woman Americans admire most. The former First Lady was named by 15% of respondents in Gallup’s survey, triple the number for Oprah Winfrey, who was second with 5%. Hillary Clinton and Melania Trump had 4% each.
And while I imagine results like these will annoy the current president, it’s likely the break in the historical pattern will make matters slightly worse: since 1946, sitting presidents have been named the nation’s most admired man 58 times.
Trump came up short in his first year, and he fared a little worse in his second.