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Americans Admire Progressives

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Americans Admire Progressives"

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Gallup recently did its most admired living people survey. By far the most admired man is Barack Obama (30%) followed by George W Bush (4%), Nelson Mandela (3%), Glenn Beck (2%), the Pope (2%), Bill Graham (2%), and Bill Gates (2%). On the women side, things are closer, leading USA Today to write “The close finish by Clinton, named by 16% in the open-ended survey, and Palin, named by 15%, reflects the nation’s partisan divide.”

This seems like yet another example of the press being unable to acknowledge instances where the left is just more popular than the right. If you look at the numbers it’s clear that the closeness between Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin doesn’t reflect a partisan divide at all. Rather, it reflects the fact that a lot of people admire Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey more than they admire Clinton. If you add up those three well-known progressive women, they easily outnumber the 17 percent who like Palin or Condoleezza Rice. Unless you somehow think that Michelle Obama’s fans are indifferent between Palin and Clinton, this is a portrait of a lopsided America.

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