Despite years of ‘Russiagate’ accusations and an ongoing impeachment drive against him, President Donald Trump has tied with former President Barack Obama as America’s most admired man of 2019, according to a new poll.
In the survey, published by Gallup on Monday, 18 percent of respondents named the current occupant of the White House as their most admired man, while another 18 percent named his predecessor. No other man – in a top ten that included entrepreneur Elon Musk, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and the Dalai Lama – scored higher than two percent.
2019 marks Obama’s 12th year in the top spot, but Trump’s first. The president’s ascendancy to pole position comes amid rising approval levels. Gallup notes that public support for Trump has risen from 36 percent in 2017, to 40 percent in 2018, to 45 percent this year.
The ongoing impeachment drive against Trump hasn’t seemed to dent this popularity, nor have accusations of ‘Russian Collusion,’ which the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report in April did little to tamp down. In fact, support for Trump among independents has risen since the House voted to impeach him earlier this month.
Still, the tie between Trump and Obama was split mostly along party lines. 41 percent of Democrats named Obama as their top choice, while 45 percent of Republicans gave the nod to Trump. Independents were equally divided.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama took the top spot in the ‘most admired woman’ category, grabbing 10 percent of the vote. First Lady Melania Trump came in second with five percent, beating out Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, and Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, all of whom scored three percent.
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