Our Heroes: What name tops the list, by far?

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Our Heroes

NobodyBarack Obama is the most-admired man in the world and Hillary Clinton is the most-admired woman, according Gallup’s poll last month. But there’s someone who eclipses them both.

Can you guess who?

Nobody gets more votes than Clinton or Obama.

That’s right, nobody. Obama garnered 16% of Americans, but more than one in four (27%) said “no one” or “no opinion” when asked about the man they admired most. Clinton was mentioned by 15% of Americans, but 28% didn’t name anyone at all in the most-admired-woman poll.

This wasn’t the first year that Obama got fewer mentions than nobody; since he took office in 2008, it happened in 2010 and 2011. For Clinton, it’s happened every year since 2003.

Friends and relatives are often mentioned more often than celebrities, notables, or politicians in high office. For most-admired man in the world, 9% of Americans mentioned a friend or relative. For most-admired woman, 13% mentioned a friend or relative.

What does it mean when over a quarter of Americans don’t name anyone as the most-admired man or most-admired woman? Could it mean that our heroes have gone away? Or, it could be that our popular culture lauds the anti-hero more than the true hero.

Is “nobody” your pick for most-admired man or woman?

Would you choose a friend or relative for your most-admired person?

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  1. D says

    The “none of the above” is a popular angle to take on polls. Reminds me of how some countries (like certain jurisdictions of Australia) have a none of the above option when electing their leaders. It’s easier to say you don’t like anyone than to have to pick an individual.

    I’m a little surprised people were more likely to name nobody than name someone they knew when asked who they admired. If I were asked the same question, my mind would immediately go to family members, then people in my immediate community.