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Few Faith Leaders Make ‘Most Admired’ List for 2019

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Few faith leaders appear in Gallup’s annual most admired people list for 2019, released on Dec. 30.

Respondents were presented two open-ended questions, asking them to provide their most admired male and female figure “living today in any part of the world,” as well as their second most admired.

Pope Francis was the sixth most admired man this year with roughly 1% of all votes cast (15 out of 1,025), while the Dalai Lama was ninth (6 total votes).

Barack Obama and Donald Trump tied for most admired men, with both receiving around 18% of the votes (186 votes for Obama and 183 for Trump).

“The incumbent president has typically been Americans’ choice as the most admired man, having earned the distinction in 58 of the 72 prior Gallup polls,” a Gallup news release said. “When the incumbent president is not the choice, it is usually because he is unpopular politically, which was the case for Trump in 2017 (36% approval rating) and 2018 (40%).”

No faith leaders were in the top 10 most admired women list for 2019. Michelle Obama is the most admired female with around 10% of the total votes (107 out of 1,025), followed by Melania Trump with around 5% of the votes (55).

While relatively few religious figures have made the most admired top 10 in the past decade, Billy Graham had 61 appearances in the top 10 most admired men during his lifetime, the most in polling history.

Pope John Paul II is the only other male religious figure who appeared in the most top 10 lists among men at 27, while Mother Teresa is the only female religious figure to appear in the most top 10 lists among women at 18.

The margin of error for the survey was plus-or-minus 4%.

The full results are available here.