Obama, Trump, Gates and Buffett make America's list of 'most admired' men

Photographer | CNBC

On his way out of office, President Barack Obama just landed one last honor: Most admired man in the country.

Pollsters posed the open-ended question, "What man that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world, do you admire most?" And for the ninth year in a row, Americans gave the nod to President Barack Obama, according to the results of Gallup's annual survey.

President-elect Donald Trump came in second with 15 percent, seven percentage points below Obama's total of 22 percent, perhaps damaging Trump's case that he could have beaten Obama if POTUS had run for a third term. According to Gallup, "50 percent of Democrats named Obama as most admired, compared with 34 percent of Republicans choosing Trump."

America's Most Admired Woman, for a record 21 times in a row, was former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. First Lady Michelle Obama came in a relatively close second, followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and self-made billionaire Oprah Winfrey.

The business world served up a handful of contenders, including two of its most successful leaders, CEOs and big-league philanthropists Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Gates trounced both the current and future vice presidents to tie for sixth place, and Buffett just missed out on a Top 10 slot.

Further down the list, tech titans Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg also made appearances, taking their places among spiritual leaders Pope Frances, the Dalai Lama and Rev. Billy Graham, and political leaders including Sen. Bernie Sanders, former President Jimmy Carter and former President Bill Clinton.

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 7-11, 2016, with a random sample of 1,028 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The poll used both cellphones and landlines to survey people.