President Bush is admired by more Americans than any man since the Gallup Poll began asking ‘‘What man do you admire most?’’ in 1948.
When the USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll asked respondents to name the living man they admired most, 39% chose Bush. Last year, President Clinton and Pope John Paul tied for first place with 6%.
Among women, first lady Laura Bush was the most admired with 12%. Her predecessor, Hillary Clinton, came in second at 8%.
Last year, before Bush took office, 5% identified him as the man they most admired, and his wife got too few mentions to be ranked.
‘‘Typically, the president wins,’’ said Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of The Gallup Poll, ‘‘but the president doesn’t usually dominate. That’s why this 39% is unusual.’’
The previous record for men was set by John F Kennedy, who received 32% in 1961, the end of his first year as president. The overall record was set in 1963, when Jacqueline Kennedy received 60% the month after her husband was assassinated.
Bush’s response to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington and the US efforts in routing Osama bin Laden’s supporters and sympathisers in Afghanistan are responsible for the strong showing, Newport said. ‘‘You’ve got a president who, in this time of crisis, has rallied the country. This is the classic rally effect.’’
President Bush 39%
Secretary of State Colin Powell 5%
New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani 4%
Pope John Paul 3%
Evangelist Billy Graham 2%
Former president Bill Clinton 2%
Prime Minister Tony Blair 2%
Basketball star Michael Jordan 1%
Former President Jimmy Carter 1%
Former South African President Nelson Mandela 1%
First lady Laura Bush 12%
Hillary Clinton 8%
TV star Oprah Winfrey 5%
Former first lady Barbara Bush 3%
National security adviser Condoleezza Rice 2%
Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher 2%
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright 1%
Former US Red Cross chief Elizabeth Dole 1%
Actress Julia Roberts 1%