Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won an online poll of readers for Time magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ in 2016, beating out other world leaders, artists and politicians as the most influential figure of the year.
According to the Time magazine, Modi won with 18 per cent of the vote when the poll closed Sunday at midnight. He placed well ahead of his closest contenders, including US President Barack Obama, US President-elect Donald Trump and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who all received 7 per cent of the “yes” vote. Modi also placed far ahead of other prominent figures of this year, like Mark Zuckerberg (2 per cent) and Hillary Clinton (4 per cent).
Time also analyzed the moments from 2016 when this year’s poll contenders were most talked about. For Modi it was on October 16, when the Indian leader suggested during a summit of BRICS nations in Goa that Pakistan is the “mothership” of terrorism+ .
Modi won the Time’s readers’ poll in 2014 as well, securing more than 16 per cent of the almost five million votes cast. He was again among contenders for the annual honor in 2015, but was not among the final eight candidates shortlisted by Time magazine editors for the title. Last year German Chancellor Angela Merkel was Time’s ‘Person of the Year’+ .
Every year, Time’s editors decide who from among world leaders, presidents, protesters, astronauts, pop icons and disrupters should be person of the year. But they also ask readers to cast their votes and decide who they think most shaped a particular year.
The poll results, analyzed by poll host Apester, found that preferences differ across the world and in the US. Modi performed particularly well among Indian voters as well as those in California and New Jersey, where there’s a large concentration of people of Indian origin. Every year, TIME selects the most influential person of the year, noting, for better or for worse, the person or group of people who have had the largest global impact over the past 12 months. In partnership with Opentopic and IBM’s Watson this year, Time editors were also able to see how candidates were influential on the Internet.
Modi performed particularly well among voters in California and New Jersey, earning 17% and 12% of all “yes” votes in those states, respectively. In Washington, D.C., the President, First Lady Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton were the most popular choices, with 8% of “yes” votes each. In Rhode Island, Assange earned a noteworthy 20% of votes.
As for the President-elect, Donald Trump’s margin as the top recipient of “yes” votes is highest in North Dakota, Mississippi, Alabama, Wisconsin and Louisiana—all states won by Trump in the presidential election. By comparison, his percentage of those votes was lowest in Minnesota, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and Washington D.C.—all of which went to Clinton.
Since 1927, TIME has selected the most influential person of the year, identifying the person or group of people who have had the largest impact—positive or negative—on the world during that year. Though the editors make the ultimate decision as to who has earned the title each year, the reader poll provides insight into how the world perceives influence.