Rasmussen: Ted Cruz Just Behind Pope, Obama as 2013's Most Influential Person

Image: Rasmussen: Ted Cruz Just Behind Pope, Obama as 2013's Most Influential Person

Sunday, 15 Dec 2013 02:34 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, following his push to stop Obamacare, is the world's third-most influential person of 2013, falling in only behind Pope Francis and President Barack Obama, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll.

Eleven percent of the 1,000 adults polled on Dec. 11-12 picked Cruz as the most influential person, Rasmussen announced on Sunday.

Cruz was also a runner up in Time Magazine's annual "Person of the Year" selection last week, with Time selecting the pope for the top honor.

In the Rasmussen survey, 23 percent of those surveyed picked the pope as the most influential, followed by 21 percent choosing Obama.

Cruz, one of the most prominent politicians aligned with the tea party movement, was followed on the list by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, who was seen as most influential by eight percent of those surveyed.

The survey also went across party lines. Among Republicans, Cruz was second behind the pope, with 19 percent calling the freshman senator and Tea Party leader the world’s most influential leader.

Summing up the rest of the list, overall, four percent picked Russian President Vladimir Putin as most-influential, followed by three percent for GOP House Speaker John Boehner and Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Two dramatically opposite women, twerking singer Miley Cyrus and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton gathered two percent of the vote. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai each scored one percent.

According to Rasmussen, many Americans, especially those of Catholic faith, believe Pope Francis has improved people's perceptions of the church. However, Obama's approval ratings are at a record low  following this fall's botched Obamacare rollout.

The poll also showed a divide between the sexes. Women were more likely to pick the pope as most influential, while men were twice as likely to pick Cruz. And people over 65 felt more strongly that the pope and Obama are the most influential.

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