Deen vs. Obama - Harris Poll Uncovers Who Really Had the Worst 2013

Duck Dynasty and Chris Christie Come Out on Top for the Year

Dec 18, 2013, 05:00 ET from Harris Interactive

NEW YORK, Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- What do the cast of Duck Dynasty, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Christie have in common? According to the latest Harris Poll, they've had among the best 2013's, while Barack Obama and Paula Deen are seen as having had among the worst.

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These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,039 U.S. adults surveyed online between December 6 and 10, 2013 by Harris Interactive. (Full results, including data tables and complete celebrity lists, available here)

Top of their Game

2013 was a series of highs and lows for many celebrities, but when asked which star, from a provided list, had the best 2013, nearly half of Americans (45%) selected the cast of Duck Dynasty, with a hit television show and Christmas album, as having reason to celebrate this season. Other stars perceived as most enjoying a good year include:

  • Jennifer Lawrence (36%)
  • Sandra Bullock (30%)
  • Justin Timberlake (23%)

Deen's Fall from Fame

It's definitely not a stretch to say that Paula Deen's popularity has been put on the back burner in 2013. Her scandal earlier this year may still be haunting her, as the highest percentage of Americans selected her as the celebrity having the worst year (46%). Think there's no such thing as bad publicity? Think again! Despite Miley Cyrus' constant presence in the news this year, our favorite twerking celebrity was America's close-second contender for worst year (44%).

  • Amanda Bynes, who has been in and out of rehab and was recently released to the custody of her parents, came in a distant third (28%)

Political best and worst

One politician who should be glad to see the year come to a close is the President. Among the politicians tested, Barack Obama comes in third among those politicians tested as having the best year, but comes in first place – by a high margin – as having had the worst year. According to the poll:


  • Cream of the Crop. Chris Christie is on top in first place (32%) as having the best perceived year, followed by Hillary Clinton in second place (26%) and Barack Obama in third (19%). Rounding out the list is Senator Ted Cruz (12%), new Senator Cory Booker (7%) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (3%).
    • Rankings fell in the same order, though slightly higher for Christie (34%) and Clinton (28%), among Independents, with Obama again in 3rd place at 16%.
    • Clinton also holds the top position among Democrats (31%), followed by Obama in 2nd (29%) and Christie in 3rd (24%).
    • Among Republicans, Chris Christie was the top pick for having had the best year (42%), followed by Ted Cruz (24%) and Hilary Clinton (18%).
    • Women are most likely to believe Hillary Clinton had the best 2013 (30%), by a narrow margin over Christie (29%).

And Worst…

  • Playing both sides. On this side, the verdict is a bit clearer as almost half of Americans (46%) say Barack Obama had the worst year in politics. Anthony Weiner takes home 26% of the overall vote, while John Boehner comes in 3rd place at 13%. On the bottom half of this list are Ted Cruz (9%), Harry Reid (4%) and Mitch McConnell (3%).  
    • Republicans and Independents rank the politicians in that same descending order
      • Over 7 in 10 Republicans (72%) place Obama at the top of the list, with a wide margin over Weiner (16%) and Boehner (6%). 
      • Among Independents, Obama received 46% of the vote, followed by 27% for Weiner and 12% for Boehner.
    • Among Democrats, Weiner is the #1 pick for worst year (35%), followed by a tight race between Obama (23%) and Boehner (20%).

Role Reversal

While politicians often achieve celebrity status, the Harris Poll sought to find out which celebrities were perceived as potentially making the best president. Clint Eastwood, a diehard Republican who supported the party by talking to a chair at the 2012 GOP convention, was the top selection (29%) followed by Tom Hanks (25%) and George Clooney (16%). Looking at this by party, half of Republicans (50%) say Clint Eastwood would be the best president while one-third of Democrats (34%) say it would be Tom Hanks. Among Independents, just over one-quarter say Clint Eastwood (27%) while just under say Tom Hanks (23%).

And the award goes to…

We've seen instances where celebrities have won awards for portraying presidents – Daniel Day Lewis won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln and Greg Kinnear snagged an Emmy nomination for playing JFK – but what about presidents who should win an Academy Award for their time in office?

When asked which president they would choose to win an Oscar for their time in office, Ronald Reagan was the winner with 27% of the vote, followed closely by Bill Clinton (25%) and more distantly by Obama (11%). Nearly half of Republicans (45%) say Ronald Reagan should win the Oscar, while 37% of Democrats say Bill Clinton should. Independents are again divided, with 28% saying Reagan and 24% saying Clinton.

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This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between November 4 to 6, 2013 among 2,003 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

The Harris Poll® #98, December 18, 2013

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