CNN has released its poll results for the most intriguing people of 2012.
At the end of every year, CNN selects 20 people who have captured the attention of the American people and, in many cases, the world. They then turn it over to their readers to vote and choose the top ten most intriguing people of the past year. This year’s winners were announced on December 24 at 9:00 AM ET.
CNN readers found President Barack Obama to be the most intriguing person of 2012. The President was re-elected despite the highest unemployment rate of any incumbent president since FDR. He captured 332 electoral votes as compared to 206 for challenger Mitt Romney, sweeping all but one of the battleground states. Statisticians state that women and Hispanics played a large role in the election numbers.
Here are the top ten most intriguing people of the year, as selected by CNN readers:
- Barack Obama
- Malala Yousufzai
- Gabby Douglas
- Chris Christie
- Felix Baumgartner
- David Petraeus
- Mitt Romney
- Marissa Mayer
- John Roberts
- President Barack Obama
- Malala Yousufzai, 14-year-old Pakistani who was shot when she stood up for girls’ education
- Gabby Douglas, award winning Olympic gymnast
- Chris Christie, New Jersey Governer
- Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s leader
- David Petraeus, the former director of the CIA
- Felix Baumgartner, the man who made the first parchute jump from space
- Trayvon Martin, the teen who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watchman
- Mitt Romney, failed Presidential candidate
- Honey Boo Boo, of Toddlers and Tiaras fame
- Grover Norquist, lobbyist behind the Taxpayer Proetction Pledge
- Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after doping accusations
- Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea
- Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! CEO
- E.L. James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey
- Bashar Al-Assad, President of Syria
- Psy, for “Gangnam Style” dancing in YouTube’s all-time number one video
- John Roberts, conservative Chief Justice of the SCOTUS who cast the vote that changed healthcare in America forever
- Sophia Vergara, Columbian-born star of Modern Family, named highest paid TV actress
- Nate Silver, statistician who predicted the U.S. election result
Last week, we reported that President Obama was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.
Besides the factor of the election, Time’s Richard Stengel said in his explanation that President Obama was chosen because he is seen not only as a political figure, but also a cultural leader who is the personification of the new America.
“There has been much talk of the coalition of the ascendant — young people, minorities, Hispanics, college-educated women — and in winning re-election, Obama showed that these fast-growing groups are not only the future but also the present,” Stengel said. “About 40% of millennials — the largest generational cohort in U.S. history, bigger even than the baby boomers — are nonwhite. If his win in 2008 was extraordinary, then 2012 is confirmation that demographic change is here to stay.”
“And he’s basically the beneficiary and the author of a new America. A new demographic, a new cultural America that he’s now the symbol of.”
In CNN’s poll, it’s the people who decide who is the most intriguing person of the year. Clearly, the people have spoken, and we agree with Richard Stengel. “President Obama is the beneficiary and author of a new America.”