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Trump puts an end to another Obama ‘legacy’ and it’s sweet revenge

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If, in fact, President Donald Trump has little choice but to concede the election to Joe Biden and leave the White House in about three weeks, he’ll be able to do it on somewhat of a personal high note: He’s now more admired than his predecessor.

Trump is now the most admired man in America, according to Gallup’s annual survey, beating out former President Barack Obama and ending his 12-year reign atop the list.

That said, former first lady Michelle Obama remained the country’s most-admired woman this year, according to the survey which was released Tuesday.

“Trump tied former President Barack Obama for the honor last year but edged out his predecessor this year. Trump’s first-place finish ends a 12-year run as most admired man for Obama, tied with Dwight Eisenhower for the most ever,” Gallup said in a press release.

“Overall, 18% of Americans name Trump, 15% name Obama, 6% [Joe] Biden and 3% [Dr. Anthony] Fauci. The remaining top 10 men include Pope Francis, businessman Elon Musk, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, basketball player LeBron James, and the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists,” the polling firm continued.

The Hill reported that 2020 is the 10th time President Trump has ranked among the most admired men in the country. Before dabbling in politics, the then-future president made the list in 1988, 1989, 1990, and 2011.

Forty-eight percent of Republicans named Trump as most admired, with no other public figure getting any more than 2 percent support from GOP backers, Gallup said. Among self-described Independents, both Trump and Obama received 11 percent each.

Obama, however, was still the top choice among Democrats, at 32 percent. However, that is a decline from last year, when 41 percent of Democrats chose him. Biden, meanwhile, was named by 13 percent of Democrats.

Fauci, who has been mostly praised by the Democratic left but panned by the president’s supporters, was named most-admired by 5 percent of Democrats but just 1 percent of Republicans.

The late Rev. Billy Graham holds the record for appearing most often in the top 10, making Gallup’s list 61 times before he passed away in 2018. Meanwhile, former President Jimmy Carter holds the record — 29 appearances — as the most-represented living person.

The Hill notes that current presidents topped the most-admired list in 60 out of 74 years that Gallup has been asking the question. Obama topped the list in each of his eight years in office; President George W. Bush was chosen as most-admired in every year he was in office except 2008.

“Harry Truman (1946-1947 and 1950-1952), Lyndon Johnson (1967-1968), Richard Nixon (1973), Gerald Ford (1974-1975), Jimmy Carter (1980), George W. Bush (2008) and Trump (2017-2018) are the incumbent presidents who did not finish first in past years,” Gallup reported.

Of the 1,018 adults surveyed this year, 21 percent did not name anyone they admired most, while 11 percent chose a relative or a friend, Gallup noted.

The survey was conducted from Dec. 1-17 and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percent.

The release of Gallup’s annual survey comes as President Trump’s approval rating continues to hold steady at about 45 percent, according to Rassmussen Reports.

But among Republicans, a separate Rasmussen survey found that nearly three-quarters believe that Trump’s vision for the party is the GOP’s future.

“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 72% of Likely Republican Voters think their party should be more like Trump than like the average GOP member of Congress,” the polling firm noted Monday while adding that 52 percent believe the party should find a new face to run in 2024.

Jon Dougherty

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