2015 Most Admirable Men: Donald Trump ties Pope Francis at 2nd place; Obama still at No. 1 for 8th time

U.S. President Barack Obama (left) ranks first in this year's annual Gallup poll on the most admirable men in the world, garnering 17 percent support. Pope Francis (centre) and Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump (right) share the second spot with 5 percent support.Reuters

For the eighth straight year, U.S. President Barack Obama ranked first in Gallup poll's annual list of most admirable men in the world, the result of which was released on Monday.

But that's not the big story.

What's quite remarkable is that Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has taken a huge leap from nowhere and tied Pope Francis for the No. 2 spot. Both Trump and the Pope garnered 5 percent support, Newsweek reported.

Despite all the criticism he has received, Obama enjoyed 17 percent support. Gallup explained that this is because typically, Americans pick the sitting U.S. president as the most admired man.

Obama is now tied with former Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan for top overall No. 1 finishes among men in the poll. Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower was named the most admired man 12 times.

Behind Obama, Trump and Pope Francis were Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders with 3 percent and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates with 2 percent. Also included on the list of the top 10 men were retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and former President George W. Bush.

For the most admirable woman, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton was the top choice of Americans for a record 20th time, garnering 13 percent of their vote.

Pakistani activist and youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who took the prize in 2014, placed second to Clinton with 5 percent, followed by first lady Michelle Obama and media mogul Oprah Winfrey in third, with 4 percent each.

Other women included in the top 10 were Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and comedian Ellen DeGeneres.

The poll was conducted among 824 adults nationwide between Dec. 2 and 6. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

45% of Hispanics, 40% of blacks now support Trump

Meanwhile, contrary to popular expectations, Trump now enjoys strong support from blacks and Hispanics, a WND/Clout poll shows.

The new poll shows Trump has the support 40 percent of blacks, 45 percent of Hispanics, and nearly 19 percent of Asians. In fact, the poll shows that more blacks and Hispanics are supporting Trump than whites.

The poll was conducted by Clout Research, a national opinion research firm in Columbus, Ohio. The telephone survey of registered voters was taken Dec. 18-27, except for the holiday, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.35 percentage points.

Only Dr. Ben Carson had more support from the black community than Trump, at 50 percent.

No one, not even Sen. Ted Cruz or Sen. Marco Rubio--candidates who had Latino blood--had more support from Hispanics than Trump.

Among Asians, 37.5 percent supported Rubio, with Cruz matching Trump's 18.8 percent.

Among whites, Trump was the runaway leader, with 37.7 percent of the respondents. Cruz was second at 25.1 percent.

The rankings put Trump in the No. 1 slot, Cruz second at 23.3 percent, Rubio third at 10.1, Carson fourth at 9.4 percent, and Jeb Bush fifth at 6 percent.