December 26th, 2007
03:25 PM ET
9 years ago

Clinton closes gap with Bush as nation's 'Most Admired Man'

Clinton and Bush are statistically tied as the nation's most admired man.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Looks like all of Bill Clinton's time on the campaign trail this year for his wife Hillary may be paying off in the polls for more than one member of the family.

Sitting presidents usually top Gallup's list of the country's most admired man, and this year is no exception: President Bush leads, as the choice of 10 percent of those polled. But in this survey, he's in a statistical tie with former President Bill Clinton, at 8 percent. In the last survey, there was an 8-point margin of separation, with Bush leading 13 to 5 percent, and a 17-point difference in a 2004 poll. (Full poll results [PDF])

Former Vice President Al Gore, who won several high-profile awards in 2007 for his work to raise awareness about climate change, also shot up in the poll - now in third place with 6 percent - 5 percentage points higher than last year.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama nudges out the Rev. Billy Graham and Nelson Mandela for fourth place with 5 percent. Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and Rudy Giuliani also make the list - all at 1 percent.

Hillary Clinton tops Gallup's most admired woman list, with 18 percent. But popular talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who has campaigned for Obama, Clinton's chief rival, is statistically tied with the New York Democrat at 16 percent. Both have gained in this year's poll: Clinton was at 13 percent in 2006 while Winfrey was at 9 percent.

The poll surveyed 1,011 Americans December 14-16, and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. Tom, St. Paul

    Congrats to the small number who responded who are able to see things without looking thru the political lens so many Amercians have bought into. You have it right–BOTH are far from admirable, for many of the reasons stated.

    I didn't see ANY post that found BOTH men admirable, but no surprise, given the level of political discourse in this country these days.

    December 26, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. Al Sonnenstrahl, Rockville, MD

    Is Bush being admired for his ability to lift all former presidents up one notch or his skill to project the blames?

    December 26, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  3. Lou Purtee, Lake Forest, CA

    A lot of pretty stupid lefties out there trying to figure out how Bush came out on top. It only took 10% and that means only 1 in 3 of those that think he is doing a good job needed to vote that way. I love it!

    December 26, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Jose, Orlando, Florida

    "The poll surveyed 1,011 Americans December 14-16, and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points."

    That's preposterous!, why doesn't this polling use fifty thousand people to get proper results, I'm sure that moron wouldn't be the most admired!

    December 26, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    agallop poll ,you must be kidding .
    bush almost even wthit clinton as 1007 most admired men ?
    bussh invated irak ,no diplomacy ,we are bankrupt ,children go hungry ,our school system is on 28 th [lce ,our elderly and solgers are not cared fore .
    america is a mmess .it is so dad ,what america has become since bush is president ,gollop pole I will never believe any polls by you .
    thea schlosser
    author of
    beyond the dark cloud
    cffids -fibromyalgia

    December 26, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  6. Tom, Bellevue, Washington

    Gallup should do a poll 'Most Despised Men' and 'Most Despised Women'.

    I bet Bush and H. Clinton would still be #1 on each of them by an even greater margin..

    December 26, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. Trey North Carolina

    i know this is groundbreaking for most of you but not every person in the united states hates george bush.....some decisions are questionable but at least he shoots straight.....and the only thing clinton will do if elected is take money out of my pocket

    December 26, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  8. J. Daniel, Ohio

    CNN Is just tring to Turn Oprah fire but they are So hatred about Oprah and Obama> What I do not understand is that WHY CILINTON NEWS NETWORK is So hatred to those people?

    December 26, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. D Nodiff Scarsdale NY

    Who writes the material for this poll info? Maybe they should write for the Tonight Show...the only one Bush may be popular with are Texans who are bringing in over a million a year....

    December 26, 2007 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  10. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Remember, half of all Americans have a below average IQ.

    December 26, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. anon, Stockton, CA

    For a minute there I thought I was reading the Onion. Most Admired?????
    Fricken joke.

    December 26, 2007 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  12. Kay, Las Vegas, NV

    John in San Diego:
    I'm with you...this country would be a far more pleasant place with them and their blind hatred of all things Republican gone, spreading their vile hatred elsewhere.

    Marge in Hibbing MN:
    I'm a high school teacher with a PHD, educating our future voters and keeping my opinions to myself so as not to influence their future decisions. And, guess what? I'm also one of those "dregs of humanity" you so 'eloquently' speak of...I admire President Bush, as I have all of our presidents, and will continue to support any of our presidents, regardless of political party, because as a citizen, that what I should do regardless of my own personal opinion. If you don't like who's in office, exercise your right to change it, participate in positive way. If your candidate loses, lose gracefully. Don't let your hatred consume you, it makes you very ugly, even on paper!

    December 26, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  13. CS, Gerald, MO

    ohhh.. here is an idea for all of the democrats/liberals that think republicans are so bad and evil: why dont all of you sign a pact, much the same as alec baldwin, saying that you will leave the USA if a conservative wins the election. what a grand nation this would be if that happened.

    Posted By John, San Diego, CA : December 26, 2007 2:34 pm


    So John, who would you like to leave next? All the supporters of the Third Parties? Say and if the pact doesn't work, there's always forced relocation, or how about you build factories and exterminate all non Republicans. And the comparisons to Hitler's Germany keep piling up.

    December 26, 2007 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  14. Mark, Dallas TX

    You should post a "most despised man" poll. "W" wins that in a walk.

    December 26, 2007 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  15. Mo, New York, New York

    Not sure what this has to do with the election. Bill Clinton and his insistence that we put him back in the White House because of the experience Senator Clinton gained during his tenure is a red herring. The Bush-Clinton era of partisan warfare is over. Its been disproven time and again. For the first time, we have an intelligent, able, inspired, and inspiring alternative – Senator Barack Obama. Obama in '08.

    December 26, 2007 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  16. Grover Fairfield, Ohio

    To those that are surprised at Bushie getting 10%, it is most likely the far right fundies that will kiss anybody's butt that says they "talk to god". They are the hopeless extremists that are adding to the continued decline of this nation.

    December 26, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  17. Sim Gilbert AZ

    Please, CNN don't compare Bush to Bill. There are Big, Huge and Enormous differences. Bill will always be the number one loving or hate him. YOU GO BILL.

    December 26, 2007 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  18. Lorretta, Waynesboro, Georgia

    You know, it's not surprising that after 8 years, America's lack of conscience and level of moral depravity have sunken to such depths that former President Clinton is now marked with such honor. Nevermind that he left a legacy littered with sexual inuendo and misconduct among other things...this seems to be the sort of man that some in America want to admire because it most closely resembles the vast majority of who America has become.

    December 26, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  19. Larenzo, New York

    I think CNN meant to say Bush is the worlds and the USA's most hated man.

    December 26, 2007 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  20. Pearl Volkov, Sun City Center, Florida

    They must have run the results of this "poll" through the voting machines waiting for our votes next year.

    December 26, 2007 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  21. bob

    BUSH IS among the worst leaders in world history. This poll has to be a fraud!

    December 26, 2007 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  22. Ajay Jain

    Clinton did so much more good for America, both nationally and internationally except he had a problem with skirt chasing I admit. Who in their right minds can say the same thing about Dubya Bush Jr.? In retrospect Bush Jr. gave NO-BID contracts by the BILLIONS to HALLIBURTON and others in this Iraq war!! Bush Jr. & Chenney are thiefs.

    Some very notable comments are worthy:

    GH, New York, ny: "Based on the pecentages, Hillary Clinton is the Most Admired PERSON of the Year!"

    Ex-Repulican writes: "I really enjoyed reading these comments! Yes, this result is ABSURD because George W. Bush
    will be in the books as one of the WORST presidents in the history of this country.
    He's in league with Dick Nixon at least. But, let's recall that the results of this 'poll' are deeply flawed.
    First, Nelson Mandela is not 'in our nation', he's in South Africa! Secondly, 10% is a very small fraction
    so the result tells me that nobody is really admired. Thirdly, there will always be a statistical 'tail' of peoples' opinions,
    so that I wouldn't be surprised to learn that at least 10% of Germans 'admired' Hitler if you'd taken a poll in 1946!!!
    So, don't fret, we will see when the historians of the future will make clear the crimes of GWB, he is lost,
    and so are the Republicans he dragged down with him."

    R. Engels, Tucson, Arizona says "Bush lied to the people, his country and the world to create his energy "footprint in Iraq"; the great divider,
    mentally deficient president will go down as the bottom rung of Presidents. Never have so few destroyed so much
    and we have another year of his arrogance. If he is the most admired man in America, this country deserves
    what it gets.

    Walt from Belton, TX writes "How can you compare a man with no morals, Clinton,
    with a man of extremely high morals, Bush Jr.?"

    Bush Jr. is a spoiled rich kid–who was born again
    and somehow became President, in spite of the fact he is inarticulate, uncharismatic, and a foreign/economic policy
    blunderer. His legacy as Presidential role model will be the example to avoid.

    Andy, Evansville, IN says "Imagine now, if Iraq becomes another democratic Islamic nation down the road,
    well, like Turkey... keep dreaming!!

    EKK says "BUSH represents greed, power, manipulation and complete disregard for your fellow neighbor.
    I'm not religious, but GOD help us!"

    December 26, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  23. Jose Card - Independent

    Perhaps this poll gave an opportunity to those that won't publicly endorse President G.W. Bush, because the Bush bashing wave is too loud.

    The 2007 Nobel Literature winner, Doris Lessing wondered if President Bush might be very clever.

    December 26, 2007 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  24. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX

    Just like the TIME Person of the Year, FORTUNE 500, INC 500 Could you please publish the process by which Gallup's Poll conducted its poll? Thanks a lot.

    Clinton did so much more good for America, both nationally and internationally except he had a problem with skirt chasing I admit. Who in their right minds can say the same thing about Dubya Bush Jr.? In retrospect Bush Jr. gave NO-BID contracts by the BILLIONS to HALLIBURTON and others in this Iraq war!! Bush Jr. & Chenney are thievs.

    Go Hillary44 08!

    December 27, 2007 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  25. Vic Novosad, Sugar Land, TX

    Looks like Oprah out-did her protege
    Obama in this poll.

    December 27, 2007 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
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