Trump Comes In Second, Tied With Pope, In ‘Most Admired Man’ Poll

Donald Trump is in second place, and tied, with Pope Francis, in a poll asking Americans to name the person they most admired in 2015.

Trump Apprentice

Several media outlets are spending a relatively slow news day jumping on the news that a new Gallup poll shows Donald Trump tied with Pope Francis as the “second most admired man” among American adults:

Americans named Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama as their most admired woman and man in the world in 2015, with Donald Trump earning the same share of admiration as Pope Francis, according to the results of the latest Gallup survey released Monday.

On the list of most admired women, the Democratic presidential front-runner earned 13 percent and was at the top of the annual poll for a record 20th time, seven more times than former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Obama earned 17 percent on the men’s side, his eighth time atop the list, tying for second most with former presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower was named the most admired man 12 times.

(…)

On the list of most admired men, Pope Francis and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump tied for second place with 5 percent each. Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders earned 3 percent, with Bill Gates at 2 percent. A mix of religious and political figures, including the Dalai Lama and George W. Bush, rounded out the top 10, with 1 percent each. For Trump, this is his fifth finish in the top 10, the other instances coming in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 2011.

As the Politico report notes, and as you can easily see if you actually look at the Gallup poll results is that, in this case, coming in second means that Trump’s name was mentioned by just 5% of the people who were polled. This is in a poll in which the person who came in “first” among men, President Obama,was mentioned by 17% of those who responded. Given the fact that poll is conducted by asking respondents to voluntarily mention who they find “most admirable,” it’s not all that surprising that there might be 5% of the public who would pick Donald Trump’s name out of thin air, especially since his name has been in the news almost constantly for the past six months. Additionally, for better or worse Trump has been a “celebrity” of long standing and has shown up on this list several times before. Factor into this the fact that the margin of error on this poll is +/- 4%, and the 5% that Trump garners in this poll becomes even more meaningless. As for the President coming in first on the list, that’s no surprise either. It’s typically the case that the President of the United States comes out on top on this list among men. Once again, we’re talking about someone who is in the news virtually every day of the week, so when you have a poll that asks people to randomly name someone

The other news to come out of this poll, which Gallup performs on an annual basis, is that Hillary Clinton is once again named as the most admired woman among Americans. This is the 14th consecutive year, the 20th year overall that she’s been at the top of the list for women, and the 24th year she has been in the top ten list in any position, which puts her in 5th place in that category behind Queen Elizabeth II, Margaret Thatcher, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Oprah Winfrey. Given the fact that Clinton has been arguably the most prominent woman in politics for the past two decades this isn’t entirely surprising, but even here it’s worth noting some caveats. First of all, Clinton only garners 13% of the mentions in this years poll, which is fewer than she’s received in years past and likely a reflection of the fact that we are in the middle of a highly partisan Presidential election. Second, from the poll results it seems clear there were a significant number of respondents who were unable to name a person. Finally, as with the result for Donald Trump the fact that there’s a 4% margin of error here makes the results far less meaningful than they appear to be.

So, yes, Trump tied with the Pope as the second most admired man, and Hillary is once again the most admired woman, but this poll means far less than Gallup or the rest of the media is likely to pretend it means.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Hillary Clinton, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    It’s name recognition, that’s all.

  2. EddieInCA says:

    ALTERNATE HEADLINES:

    “Hillary Clinton Tops Poll for Record 20th Time as Most Admired Woman”

    “Obama and Hillary top Poll for Most Admired Americans”

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    Proof positive that Lincoln was right. You can in fact fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time. We may be about to learn whether you can fool all of the people all of the time. Or at least enough of them to get elected.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Dave Schuler: I still have faith in the American electorate.

    ps go ahead… say it…. you know you want to…. “sucker….”

  5. On the one hand: oy.

    On the other: indeed, nothing really to see here.

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    I won’t say that but I will remind you of what H. L. Mencken said:

    No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.

  7. Todd says:

    All of those Democrats who are gleefully hopping that Trump is the Republican nominee … be careful what you wish for.

  8. Tony W says:

    @Dave Schuler: Trump’s new campaign slogan needs work.

  9. CSK says:

    @Todd:

    Maybe…Call me a cock-eyed optimist; but I still think most of the electorate doesn’t consist of troglodytes.

  10. DrDaveT says:

    So, let me get this straight — Trump and the Pope tied for second, but Obama merely finished “first”, with scare-quotes.

    WTF? Doug, can you even hear yourself? I’m beginning to expect you to start saying that Barack is his first “name”, and that he was “elected” to the US Senate…

    (And no, a 17% plurality is not a low number in a poll with hundreds or thousands of potential responses. If you were to ask Americans who the best actor in the world is, what percentage of the vote would you expect the winner to get?)

  11. CSK says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I think the point is not that Obama is the most admired; the president usually is the most admired in these polls.

    The point is that someone as appalling as Trump is the second most admired (tied with the pope, yet). This is equivalent to Kim Kardashian tying Mother Teresa for second place in the most admired woman category.

  12. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK:

    It’s name recognition, that’s all.

    I think if they flipped the question to “most disliked” you’d get very similar results. Trump might actually make #1.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Todd: I guess you missed this part:

    On the list of most admired women, the Democratic presidential front-runner earned 13 percent and was at the top of the annual poll for a record 20th time, seven more times than former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

    I know you don’t like her Todd, neither do I. But we aren’t voting for “best drinking buddy” we’re voting for Pres of US of A. Not to say she could not yet lose or that the Donald could never win, but that’s some pretty weak tea you are supping on, especially when it favors her.

  14. Franklin says:

    @Todd: You think Trump is more dangerous than Cruz? (I’m not sure one way or the other, just asking …)

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: No way, Obama would be with out a doubt. If nothing else, GOPers know how to hate.

  16. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:

    Indeed. It would be interesting–and instructive and amusing–if Gallup did a side-by-side poll of the most hated, using the identical list of names. The same people would probably end up in the same places, except, as you say, for Trump moving up to No.1.

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Debating that with myself. But there’s still a residue of bipartisan disgust w/ Trump.

  18. ernieyeball says:

    @CSK:..most of the electorate

    Is this electorate composed of all eligible voters? All registered voters? Or is the electorate limited to those who actually make it to the polls and cast a ballot?

  19. CSK says:

    @ernieyeball:

    I think of the electorate as people who actually make it to the voting booth and cast a ballot.

  20. al-Ameda says:

    All of this reminds me of the phrase, “wisdom of the people” –
    of which … sometimes there is, and sometimes there is NOT.

  21. Paul Hooson says:

    I’m a Jew, and I can understand a decent and honorable man like the Pope coming in at #1, but how does Donald Trump even play on the same football field. What’s the world coming to that rudeness and lack of honesty somehow puts him second to a great religious leader like the pope?

  22. CSK says:

    @Paul Hooson:

    Paul, Trump is a reality show star. People have heard of him, quite independent of the fact that he now sucks up the entire news cycle every time he opens his mouth and emits another belch of xenophobic, ill-informed, simplistic gas.

    This is not to say that some people don’t love him for what he is: a boor and a boob.

  23. ernieyeball says:

    @CSK:..I think of the electorate as people who actually make it to the voting booth and cast a ballot.

    So who is the elected officeholder obligated to? Only those who voted for them or the entire population of the jurisdiction?

  24. C. Clavin says:

    Trump and the pope….two guys with no factual basis whatsoever.

  25. CSK says:

    @ernieyeball:

    Well, how can he or she tell who voted for him or her or not? But, quite apart from that, everyone elected to office faces the same problem: Do I vote my conscience and convictions, or do I vote to satisfy my constituents? Obviously, some do the latter, and some the former. Or, in many cases, do both when they can. There is no politician who doesn’t overpromise in order to get elected.

    But if this is about Trump, I can see many of his supporters being totally disappointed–not to say insanely enraged–if, God forbid, he becomes president and reneges (as he will) on his promise to build a giant wall, make Mexico pay for it, and deport 11 million Mexicans from the country. That is the driver behind their support of him.

    Reasonable people understand that voting for someone comes with the understanding that the candidate will not fulfill all the promises he or she made on the campaign trail.

    As for people who actually turn up at the precinct to vote–no, it’s probably not going to be some fat jerk in a bar who thinks Trump is “exactly like him.” I could be wrong about this, but I live in the northeast, and Trump makes the skin crawl of every Republican I know. Yeah, I know, that makes me sound like Pauline Kael saying that no one she knew voted for Nixon, but I’m talking about the New York/New England axis, not just the upper east side of Manhattan.

  26. DrDaveT says:

    @CSK:

    I think the point is not that Obama is the most admired; the president usually is the most admired in these polls.

    I’m not sure what your point is. Are you saying that Doug’s use of scare quotes on “first” was intended to remind us that Presidents don’t count in this kind of poll? That’s a lot of heavy lifting for a bit of punctuation…

    Again, this is what I was responding to:

    This is in a poll in which the person who came in “first” among men, President Obama, was mentioned by 17% of those who responded.

    What are the scare quotes there for?

  27. Todd says:

    @Franklin:

    You think Trump is more dangerous than Cruz? (I’m not sure one way or the other, just asking …)

    Yes. Trump as the Republican nominee is dangerous. He’s already shown that he’s willing to say anything. And he’s unquestionably a master at “reality tv” … which let’s be honest, is pretty much what our elections have been reduced to. I don’t think it’s “likely” that he would win. But if by some chance he did, I wouldn’t wake on November 9th totally shocked.

    I really wouldn’t like to see Cruz as the nominee either … although I can’t imagine any scenario where he could win. But even the chance of someone so unsuitable for the oval office being in a position to win the Presidency is a very scary prospect.

    I think Rubio would be the hardest to beat of the 3 Republicans who seem (at this point) to be most likely to get the nomination. But he’d also likely be the least bad President (although still pretty awful) of the 3.

  28. CSK says:

    @DrDaveT:

    My impression was that the quotes around “most admired” were there because that’s apparently the title of the poll.

  29. DrDaveT says:

    @CSK:

    My impression was that the quotes around “most admired” were there because that’s apparently the title of the poll.

    I’m not sure how to make this any plainer: I am talking about the quotes around the word “first”. F-I-R-S-T. The only word in quotation marks in the part I actually quoted. The word that I was referring to when I said Doug’s use of scare quotes on “first”. That word. Not “most admired”, not “celebrity”, not any other word.

  30. CSK says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I can’t speak for Doug, but perhaps he put the word “first” in quotes because Obama was “first” in the poll, and he’s quoting the results. I don’t impute any particular sinister motive to so doing. But…why not address your question to him instead of me?

  31. C. Clavin says:

    Actually there is a connection between the pope and trump.
    The pope is the head of an organization based upon a myth about some refugees who needed a place to stay for the night.
    And trump wants to make sure refugees stay anywhere but the United States.

  32. Hal_10000 says:

    Repeat after me: an unconstrained plurality is the most useless poll imaginable. Even by poll standards. It’s basically a poll of “who have you heard of”. George W. Bush topped it every year he was President, even when he was wildly unpopular. Notice the most-admired are almost all two-term Presidents or people who hung around in the public eye for a long time (e.g., H Clinton, who’s been in the public eye for 24 years).

    Here’s how you do a useful poll like this. Take the top 100 names from the first poll, then have people rate each name as “admire” or “don’t admire”. I guarantee you’d get wildly different and more useful results.

  33. Tony W says:

    @Todd: Agreed. After all, at least Sarah Palin was only up for VP…

  34. DrDaveT says:

    @CSK:

    I can’t speak for Doug, but perhaps he put the word “first” in quotes because Obama was “first” in the poll, and he’s quoting the results.

    Well, except that he didn’t feel the need of scare quotes around “second” for Trump or the Pope…

    But…why not address your question to him instead of me?

    You mean, like I did in my original comment? The one you felt strangely compelled to reply to?

  35. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    Maybe…Call me a cock-eyed optimist; but I still think most of the electorate doesn’t consist of troglodytes.

    I’m not so sure of that, yet I still don’t think very highly of Trump’s chances as a general-election candidate. According to an estimate by Latino Decisions, any 2016 nominee will have to win at least 40% of the Latino vote in order to stand a realistic chance of winning the election.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/gop-2016-win-will-need-more-40-percent-latino-vote-n394006

    If this is accurate (and the organization’s biases have to be taken into account), it presents a pretty steep uphill battle for any of the GOP candidates, though I think Rubio might be able to pull it off. But Trump? “Impossible” shouldn’t be part of anyone’s political vocabulary, but let’s put it this way: it probably is about as likely as if George Wallace were to win the support of “the blacks.”

  36. Paul Hooson says:

    @CSK: Sadly, Trump also represents the very worst of all New Yorker stereotypes of rudeness, when in fact during 9-11 we saw New Yorkers for what they really were, wonderful people who pulled together in love for each other and love for their city.

  37. bill says:

    our retarded voting bloc…..scary.

  38. CSK says:

    @Paul Hooson:

    Yeah, I know. Trump has a lot of fans among people who otherwise claim that they’d love to see New York and all New Yorkers incinerated.

  39. gVOR08 says:

    @Todd: Krugman did a good NYT column Monday on how Trump is distracting the press and public from noticing how awful all the rest of the GOP candidates are. Trump promises bigger tax breaks for the rich, with yoooge deficits to follow, but the rest of them aren’t that far behind. Trump’s probably lying. Little Jebbie! would actually do it.

  40. C. Clavin says:

    @bill:
    Says a man who voted for Bush43; a president who attacked a country for no reason, strengthened our enemies, and destroyed the economy.
    And every Republican candidate simply proposes to redo the Bush Presidency.

  41. Todd says:

    @gVOR08:

    Trump’s probably lying. Little Jebbie! would actually do it.

    I’ve been saying something similar for a while. If there’s anything that could even be termed a minor silver lining about Trump, were he to actually be elected, it’s that he’s all but guaranteed to be a wildcard when it comes to how he’d govern, and he’s almost certainly not a “true” Conservative.

    We all keep saying that the Supreme Court is the most important issue this election, and I agree. Well when it comes to that, virtually any other Republican candidate in the field would definitely nominate Justices who would fit in quite well with the Scalia, Alito, Thomas wing of the court. Trump might too, but it’s not quite as much of a sure thing.