In a recent poll, Bill Gates was tied with Donald Trump as America’s third place choice for President. The survey, done by Fidelum Partners, asked voters to choose from a list of public figures who they’d like to see as President of the United States. The choices were revealing. The top choice of 42% of the electorate, including 17% of those identifying as Republicans, was Barack Obama, who is barred by law from running for a third term.
Gates and Trump tied in poll
Clinton got support from 33% of the respondents, while Donald Trump and Bill Gates were tied at 28%. What is remarkable is that Bill Gates has managed to match Trump and get within shouting distance of Hillary Clinton, without lifting a finger to campaign.
Who else would be in the running if America could choose their top ten list? Bernie Sanders was the choice of 27% of the people, which is not surprising. What is more surprising was that former President George W. Bush was only two points behind Bernie at 25%, and Mr. Bush was three points ahead of Vice-President Joe Biden who garnered 22% support.
Vladimir Putin is the choice of 6% of voters
One name that was not included on the list was that of former President Bill Clinton. It would have been interesting to see how Mr. Clinton would have ranked when compared to Hillary Clinton.
Ted Cruz (11%) came in behind Ellen DeGeneres (21%), Mark Zuckerberg (17%), and LeBron James (11%), which may give Ted pause before he decides to mount a presidential campaign in 2020. In fact, Ted was only 5 points ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin who got support from 6% of all voters, and 9% of male voters.
The Fidelum poll focused on the traits of warmth and competence when selecting people to put on their list.
Those traits have been shown by Princeton University social psychologist Susan Fiske and others to underlie many of our preferences, with us feeling admiration and loyalty to those we consider both warm and competent: contempt and rejection for those we consider cold and incompetent. — Business Insider
Gates was on Clinton’s VP list
In fact, according to documents released last week by WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton considered both Bill Gates and Tim Cook as potential vice presidential running mates. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta put together a list of 37 people last March as “a first cut of people to consider for VP.” Gates’ wife, Melinda Gates also was on the list as was Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
No endorsement from Gates
Bill Gates has not endorsed either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Gates has argued that important innovations often stem from government-sponsored institutions, such as universities and research labs, and that the next President must enable a partnership between the private and public sector to find new life-changing innovations that can change the world.
The best leaders have the ability to do both the urgent things that demand attention today and at the same time lay the groundwork for innovation that will pay dividends for decades. — Bill Gates
However, 2016 does not give us a choice of selecting Bill Gates, or Ellen DeGeneres or Barack Obama. Rather, our choice is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the two most unpopular candidates ever to run for the presidency.