Once again the man and woman Americans say they admire most in the world are former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama, according to an annual Gallup survey released Monday. This is the 20th time Clinton has finished first in the rankings, while Obama has received the honor for the eighth time.
But the truly stunning news is that Donald Trump, the bombastic GOP presidential frontrunner who has advocated the mass deportation of millions of illegal immigrants, who wants to bar Syrian refugees from the U.S. and who recently mocked Clinton for taking a bathroom break during a debate, finished second in the poll, tying Pope Francis. Trump and the Pope each recorded 5 percent support.
Trump is on a roll, for sure. He leads a crowded Republican presidential field with 39 percent of likely Republican voters and has reveled in encouraging comments from Russian president Vladimir Putin. Now he is running neck and neck with a highly popular and innovative pontiff who has expressed dismay with some of Trump’s views on immigration and climate change.
“Trump’s surprisingly strong and often controversial presidential campaign has made him a prominent figure this year and thus, top of mind for many Americans,” said the Gallup analysis. “This helps explain his strong showing when Gallup asks Americans, in an open-ended fashion, to name the man they admire most.”
Trump has finished in the top 10 four other times, including from 1988 through 1990 and in 2011, according to Gallup.