Did Gallup End ‘Most Admired’ 74-Year Polling Tradition to Avoid Trump Placing First?

Frequent consumers of news may be aware of Gallup’s annual poll measuring the “most admired man” in America which is typically announced a few days before New Year’s.

The poll was done yearly from 1946 through 2020, with 1976 the only year that was skipped.

NewsBusters pointed out a year ago that liberal news media lost interest in the annual poll after Donald Trump started edging out Barack Obama for first place, whereas the networks previously enjoyed using the survey to embarrassing Trump as sitting President failing to come in first place.

This year, a Google search conspicuously shows no sign that Gallup conducted such a poll for the past year, possibly because they couldn’t stand that thought having to report what likely would have been Trump coming in first again this year — after the January 6 riot.

The poll story has typically just hyped the first place finisher (even if it’s typically less than 20 percent), so Obama and President Joe Biden would likely have split the Democratic vote between them like last year, making it unlikely either would come in first place.

If that is indeed why Gallup has not released such a poll this year, it says something that one of the most prominent polling firms cited by the dominant media is so biased that they would choose not to do a poll, and break a 74-year tradition, if they expect not to approve of the results politically.

The last time Obama unequivocally came in first place was at the end of 2018, leading to coverage on ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, the CBS Evening News, and the NBC Nightly News.

CNN’s flagship morning show, New Day, also carried it, as did CNN Tonight with Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper 360. When Trump tied Obama in 2019, those same shows ignored it, although NBC’s Today did cover it.

But last year, when Trump pushed Obama to second place, those same shows all ignored it.

Back in 2015 on NBC’s Today, correspondent Hallie Jackson notably snarked about Trump not wanting to highlight his loss to Obama as she sought to use the poll to embarrass the Republican presidential frontrunner:

Donald Trump loves talking about his poll numbers, but there’s one poll he hasn’t mentioned yet — a new one from Gallup showing him in second place for the title of most admired man in the world, tied with Pope Francis, Savannah. Number one on the list, by the way, President Obama.

Last year, Fox & Friends was the only morning show to cover the result. Jillian Mele recalled:

A Gallup poll finds President Trump to be the most admired man of 2020 — 18 percent of Americans naming him as their pick, ending Barack Obama’s 12-year run. He, by the way, got 15 percent of the vote. Broken down by party, 48 percent of Republicans named President Trump their most admired man, compared to just 13 percent of Democrats naming Joe Biden.

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Transcripts follow:

From December 29, 2020

Fox & Friends

8:47 a.m. Eastern

JILLIAN MELE: A Gallup poll finds President Trump to be the most admired man of 2020 — 18 percent of Americans naming him as their pick, ending Barack Obama’s 12-year run. He by the way, got 15 percent of the vote. Broken down by party, 48 percent of Republicans named President Trump their most admired man, compared to just 13 percent of Democrats naming Joe Biden.

(…)

From December 31, 2019

NBC’s Today

7:31 a.m. Eastern

PETER ALEXANDER: An annual Gallup survey shows that President Trump shares the title of “most admired man” with former President Barack Obama. Presidents Trump and Obama each receiving 18 percent in that poll. It is the first year that President Trump landed in the top spot. For Obama, it’s a record-tying twelfth time that he’s received the honor.

(…)

From December 29, 2018:

CNN’s New Day Saturday

8:44 am. Eastern

CHRISTI PAUL: Both the Obamas topped the list here, we need to point out, because there’s a male version of this, of course — the most admired man of 2018. So we’ve got Michelle Obama on the women’s side in the number one place. Barack Obama number one (at 19 percent as shown on screen), and then, look at that, right behind him, Donald Trump with just — at 13 percent. Not a big span there.

(…)

From December 28, 2018

ABC’s Good Morning America

8:04 a.m.

Turning now to Michelle Obama, who is having a very good year. Her memoir, Becoming, is a bestseller. There she is with Robin (Wright). And now she has just been named the most admired woman in the world by Gallup poll. This is her first time topping the list, joining her husband, former President Barack Obama, who has been most admired for 11 years in a row.

(…)

CBS This Morning

7:32 a.m.

TONY DOKOUPIL: And former First Lady Michelle Obama is the most admired woman in America, according to a new Gallup poll. It’s the first time in 17 years someone other than Hillary Clinton has been at the top of the list. Oprah Winfrey came in second, followed by Hillary Clinton and, then, First Lady Melania Trump. Former President Barack Obama was the most admired man — get this — for the 11th straight year, followed by President Trump, former President George W. Bush, and Pope Francis.

(…)

MSNBC’s Morning Joe

6:29 a.m.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: The most admired Americans — you know, it usually would be Billy Graham and Betty Ford when I was growing up every year — well, this year, who was it? Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. We really are seeing this backlash that Republicans experienced at the polls back in November. We see that continuing.

(…)

December 27, 2018

CNN Tonight

10:38 p.m.

DON LEMON: So the former First Lady, Michelle Obama, tops the list of America’s most admired women in 2018, knocking Hillary Clinton off the number one spot for the first time in 17 years. Oprah Winfrey — or just Oprah, Oprah — Hillary Clinton, and Melania Trump came in second, third and fourth on the list, respectively. And former President Obama tops the list of America’s most admired men for the 11th time in a row.

(…)

NBC Nightly News

7:23 p.m.

KATE SNOW: Every year, Gallup puts out its list of the most admired men and women in America. This year, winners of those two groups have the same last name — Barack and Michelle Obama in the top two spots. It was President Obama’s 11th win in a row, but a first for the former First Lady. Oprah was in second place. Hillary Clinton — who had held the top spot for 17 years — came in third, tied with Melania Trump. President Trump was second among the men.

(…)

CBS Evening News

6:31 p.m.

opening tease: In a Gallup poll released today, First Lady Michelle Obama was voted the woman most admired by Americans this year. And, apparently, it’s a family thing because Barack Obama is the most admired man in America for the 11th consecutive year.

(…)

6:52 p.m.

JAMES BROWN: A new poll out today finds former First Lady Michelle Obama America’s most admired woman. It’s the first time in 17 years a woman other than Hillary Clinton has earned that honor. The Gallup poll’s most admired man, you ask? Former President Barack Obama for the 11th straight year. President Trump was second for the fourth year in a row.

(…)

From December 28, 2017

CBS This Morning

7:52 a.m. Eastern

And Politico says former President Barack Obama edged out President Trump for America’s choice for the most admired man in the world. Mr. Obama has finished first 10 years in a row in the Gallup poll — President Trump came in second. Hillary Clinton was named the most admired woman for the 16th consecutive year

(…)

From December 28, 2015

NBC’s Today

HALLIE JACKSON: Donald Trump loves talking about his poll numbers, but there’s one poll he hasn’t mentioned yet — a new one from Gallup showing him in second place for the title of most admired man in the world, tied with Pope Francis, Savannah. Number one on the list, by the way, President Obama.

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