Indian American VP elect poised to overtake Michelle Obama for top honors.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was named the second most admired woman in the US in 2020 after former first lady Michelle Obama who took the top honors for the third year in a row.
Six percent of Americans named Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, the first woman elected to the second highest office in the US, as their most admired, according to Gallup polling released Tuesday.
However, Harris’ prominent role in the forthcoming Biden administration should raise her national profile in the coming year, and possibly position her to overtake Michelle Obama as most admired woman, the pollster suggested.
Earlier this month, Harris had jumped to No. 3 in the Forbes list of the world’s most powerful women in 2020 displacing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who went down from No.3 to No.7.
Harris ranked below Germany’s Angela Merkel in the top spot followed by European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde at No.2.
Forbes said Kamala’s “rapid ascension in US politics” has “catapulted” her onto the list and her smackdown of Mike Pence when he repeatedly interrupted her during their debate (“Mr vice-president, I’m speaking…) not only “launched a thousand memes (and even a handful of T-shirts), but it also became a rallying cry for women across America.”
“One month after the debate, Senator Harris became the first woman, first Black American and first Asian American to be elected vice president — an unprecedented trifecta of firsts,” Forbes noted.
In the Gallup poll ten percent of Americans named Obama as their most-admired woman, while First lady Melania Trump received 4 percent of the vote, followed by Oprah Winfrey with 3 percent.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Queen Elizabeth I all received 2 percent.
A current or former first lady has been named the most admired woman 57 of the 71 times Gallup has polled the question since 1948.
While Melania Trump has made the top 10 for four consecutive years, she has yet to take the top spot, even as her husband President Donald Trump was named most admired man for the first time this year.
Lady Bird Johnson and Bess Truman are the only other First Ladies not to have made the top spot.
Rounding out the top 10 were Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett and climate activist Greta Thunberg, both of whom received 1 percent support.
Numerous other women including Indian American Nikki Haley, former UN Ambassador, received 1 percent but did not make the top 10 because they were mentioned less frequently than Thunberg or Barrett.
So did former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, activist Malala Yousafzai, singer and philanthropist Dolly Parton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Among both Democrats and Republicans, figures from their own party were the highest-ranking women. Eight percent of Republicans named Melania Trump, followed by Barrett and Haley with 4 percent each.
Seventeen percent of Democrats named Michelle Obama, followed by 16 percent who named Harris and 5 percent who named Ocasio-Cortez. Eleven percent of independents named Obama, while 4 percent named Trump.
Pollsters surveyed 1,018 adults from Dec. 1-17. The poll has margin of error of error of four percentage points.