Clinton bests Palin in poll for title of 2010's 'most admired woman'

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued her reign as Americans' most admired woman, besting former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in the annual Gallup poll

Taking 17 percent support, Clinton won the title for the ninth straight year. Other top finishers include Palin (R) at 12 percent, television host Oprah Winfrey at 11 percent and first lady Michelle Obama at 5 percent.

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Clinton received 31 percent of Democratic votes and 15 percent of independent votes, while 26 percent of Republicans ranked Palin as their top choice.

The former first lady fared better than her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who finished a distant third to President Obama in the "most admired man" category. Obama won 22 percent support, former President George W. Bush finished second with 5 percent and Clinton received 4 percent.

Obama's title is his third straight in the Gallup poll. The 44th president received the support of 46 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of independents. But Republicans chose Bush over Obama 11 percent to 6.

The president's share of the vote has waned since 2008, when 32 percent picked him as that year's most admired man. He also received 30 percent of the vote last year. But Obama's election-year total was the highest since President Dwight D. Eisenhower: The World War II general received 27 percent support in 1952. 

Sitting presidents have won Gallup's most admired man title 52 out of 64 times since the polling firm began asking the question in 1946.

Gallup polled 1,019 adults between Dec. 10 and 12. The poll has a margin of error of four percentage points.