With 16% of total mentions for most admired woman, Winfrey had her strongest showing to date in the current poll. But Clinton also had a stronger-than-usual score in 2007 — the 18% who mention the former first lady is the highest since 2000 (19%). Clinton’s best performance was in 1998, when 28% said they most admired her, just as her husband was being impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives in the Monica Lewinsky matter.
Winfrey has now finished second on the most admired woman list every year since 1997 with the exception of 2001, when she was third (to Laura Bush and Clinton). During that time, she has come within two percentage points of Clinton for the top spot on one other occasion (2004) and within one point on two occasions (2002 and 2005).
After Clinton and Winfrey, the remainder of the top 10 most admired women are Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (5%), actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie (3%), first lady Laura Bush (3%), former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (2%), former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (2%), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, author Maya Angelou, and Queen Elizabeth II (all at 1%).
If nothing else, this is an interesting sidenote since Oprah joined Obama on the campaign trail. Hillary seems to have some nice momentum behind her in the national zeitgeist.