For the third year in a row, President Barack Obama is Most Admired Man in America. A Gallup survey found that 22% of Americans asked chose the President over former Presidents Bush and Clinton and over religious figures like Billy Graham and the Dalai Lama.

KANEOHE, HAWAII - DECEMBER 23:  U.S. President Barack Obama plays a round of golf with friends Bobby Titcomb, Mike Ramos, and Eric Whitaker at the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on December 23, 2010 in Kaneohe, Hawaii. Obama arrived on December 22 in his native Hawaii for a low-key vacation with his family through the winter holidays. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

The question as posed by Gallup is fairly straight forward. “What man that you have heard or read about, living today, in any part of the world do you admire most? And who is your second choice?” While it’s not surprising that Obama would capture the honor, there seems to be a disconnect between this poll and the President’s approval ratings.

Obama’s approval rating has taken a hit over the last couple of years, plunging especially low in 2010. Some polls have his approval rating in the low 40’s. With that being said, how do you explain Obama as most admired man in America?

Gallup says that sitting Presidents dominate the most admired man question and unfortunately, Obama is the sitting President. It seems to me that the answers to the question are “no brainer” answers. Meaning that those asked didn’t put much thought into it. When you’re asked who you most admire, it’s a question that must be pondered by most.

It’s not an easy answer to give; people don’t just like to throw around their admiration willy nilly. That could explain answers like Billy Graham and Dalai Lama; easy and safe.

Sitting Presidents are also an easy and safe answer. Most people, even those who pay little attention, know who the sitting President is even if they know little about him. Barack Obama has had a cult like following since he first came onto the scene shortly after 2004. In 2008 this cult like following nearly achieved messiah status. This would also explain Obama as most admired man in America.

When you consider the individuals who still worship him you gain an understanding into why Obama is most admired man in America according to Gallup and USA Today. Answering why he’s most admired can be also answered by answering how he got elected.