3 Religious Leaders Make 2010 Most Admired List

( [email protected] ) Dec 27, 2010 01:06 PM EST

Three religious leaders made it onto the 2010 Top 10 Most Admired Man list, marking an increase over last year.

The Rev. Billy Graham (ranked sixth, tied), Pope Benedict XVI (ranked sixth, tied), and the Dalai Lama (ranked tenth) were named by Americans as the men they most admired in the annual open-ended poll conducted by USA Today/Gallup.

Last year, Graham and Benedict were the only two religious figures on the list. Graham, who has been in the top 10 list every year since 1955, was ranked sixth while Benedict was fifth in 2009.

President Barack Obama again topped the list this year as the most admired man, taking 22 percent of the votes. He has held that title since 2008, the year he was elected. It is common for sitting presidents to top Gallup’s Most Admired Man poll; they have ranked first 52 out of the 64 times Gallup has asked the question.

While Obama maintained the No. 1 spot this year, fewer Americans named him as the man they most admired in the world compared to the previous year. Twenty-two percent of Americans named him in 2010, down from 30 percent in 2009 and 32 percent in 2008.

Trailing in second this year is former President George W. Bush, who garnered five percent of the votes. Other former U.S. presidents who made it on the list include Bill Clinton (ranked third), and Jimmy Carter (ranked eighth, tied with Glenn Beck).

Former South African president Nelson Mandela and billionaire Bill Gates also made it onto the Most Admired Man List.

Among women, Hillary Clinton continued to dominate the Most Admired Woman list. This is her ninth consecutive year at No. 1 and her fifteenth year at the top since her first appearance on the list in 1992 as first lady.

It is typical for first ladies to make it on the list, but not many have continued to be popular after their husband’s presidency. For Clinton, her dominance on the list is most likely due to her own political career.

The order of the top six women in the Top 10 list this year is identical to that of 2009: Clinton, Sarah Palin, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Condoleezza Rice, and Queen Elizabeth.

Results for the USA Today/Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 10-12, 2010, with a random sample of 1,019 adults, living in the continental U.S.