His Holiness the Dalai Lama attending the official function of the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising in Dharamshala, March 10, 2009. (Phayul file)
DHARAMSHALA, May 31: A new pan-Atlantic survey has named Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the most popular leader in the world along with US President Barack Obama. In contrast, leaders with the least levels of popularity include China’s President Xi Jingping and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Harris Interactive, one of the world’s leading market research firms, announced the results after conducting a Harris Poll online among a total of 7,245 adults aged 16+ in France, Germany, Great Britain and Spain and adults aged 18+ in Italy and the United States between May 8 and 15, 2013.
The poll, which measured “how good or bad opinions are of some well-known world leaders” showed the two Nobel Peace laureates, the Dalai Lama tied with President Barack Obama with the highest levels of popularity. The only leader who came close to the number one spot was Pope Francis.
“Across the six countries, three-quarters of adults (78%) on average have good opinions of both President Obama and His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” the results concluded.
For His Holiness, 86% of respondents in Italy, 85% in Spain, 81% in France, 79% in Germany, 70% in Great Britain and 64% in the US, have good opinions of him.
In the US, Americans have higher opinions of The Dalai Lama (64%) and Pope Francis (61%) than they do of President Obama.
The other end of the popularity spectrum is made up by some “controversial figures” from around the world with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un (4%), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran (6%), China‘s Xi Jinping (14%) and Vladimir Putin of Russia (19%).
Harris Interactive noted that the data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population while using propensity score weighting to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight.