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Bigger Than Jesus?

Harris Interactive reports: "When The Harris Poll asked a cross-section of adult Americans to say whom they admire enough to call their heroes, President Barack Obama was mentioned most often, followed by Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King....

"These heroes were named spontaneously. Those surveyed were not shown or read a list of people to choose from. The Harris Poll was conducted online among a sample of 2,634 U.S. adults (aged 18 and over) by Harris Interactive between January 12 and 19, 2009....

"This question was first asked in a Harris Poll in 2001. In that survey Jesus Christ was the hero mentioned most often, followed by Martin Luther King, Colin Powell, John F. Kennedy and Mother Teresa."

But lest you think that Obama is -- as John Lennon so famously once said of the Beatles -- more popular than Jesus, the folks at Harris point out: "The fact that President Obama is mentioned more often than Jesus Christ should not be misinterpreted. No list was used and nobody was asked to choose between them."

Poll respondents gave many reasons to explain their choice of heroes. Among them: "Doing what's right regardless of personal consequences" (89%); "Not giving up until the goal is accomplished" (83%); "Doing more than what other people expect of them" (82%); "Overcoming adversity" (81%); and "Staying level-headed in a crisis" (81%).

By Dan Froomkin  |  February 19, 2009; 9:45 AM ET
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Hey Foomkin, instead of talking about how much more loved the boy prince is than Jesus, why not talk about the new Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board that was part of the stimulus package. Silly me, this is where we come to beatify the current resident of the 1600 Pennsylvania, not shed some light on a provision in the stimulus package that gives control over the inspector generals to the Whitehouse.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | February 19, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The pugilist is just jealous his Boy Georgie wasn't at the top.

Posted by: troyd2009 | February 19, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

There are some major problems with this poll. My statistics professor would never have passed it.

The major problem is that it's online. There is still a large percentage of the population - arguably older and/or less affluent - who don't get their news online and are less likely to be available to respond to an online poll.

As a reflection of what the US population as a whole thinks, the poll is therefore invalid, although it might be usable if one is only looking specifically at internet users.

So let's drop the invective from one side, the tones of satisfaction from the other, and send Harris an email saying we'd like better quality polling from them - or at least putting the disclaimers in capital letters before the report.

Posted by: heckertkrs | February 19, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

GWB actually made it fifth on the list (right in front of Lincoln)

Posted by: DDAWD | February 19, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse


God exalted Him (Jesus Christ) to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name (Jesus Christ) ....(Philippians 2:9).

Posted by: BibleProphecy | February 22, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

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