WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama has replaced US President George W. Bush as the most admired man in America, according to a poll published Friday in the USA Today newspaper.
One-third of the 1,008 respondents surveyed named Obama as their first or second choice, with Bush falling to a distant second after seven years as the country's most-admired man.
Thirty-two percent of respondents chose Obama against five percent for Bush. It was the first time a president-elect topped the poll since Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.
The poll was conducted over telephone between December 12 and 14.
The newspaper reported that the only higher support in the history of the survey was Bush's 39 percent rating in 2001, just a few months after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.
Among men, John McCain - Obama's defeated Republican rival for the presidency - ranked third and three others tied for fourth place: Pope Benedict XVI, the Reverend Billy Graham and former president Bill Clinton.
Hillary Clinton led the list of most-admired woman at 20 percent -- a spot she's held for 13 of the past 16 years.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who catapulted into the limelight after McCain named her Republican vice-presidential candidate, was a distant second at 11 percent.
Among women, the president-elect's wife, Michelle Obama came in fifth place, following talk-show host Oprah Winfrey in third and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in fourth.
The Gallup polling organization has been conducting the phone survey, which has sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points, since 1948.
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