Person of the Year 2014: Ebola fighters or Barack Obama?

December 16, 2014, 5:18 PM GMT+0

Most Americans think that Ebola caregivers were a good choice for person of the year, but when given a free choice Barack Obama is the public's top pick

Every year TIME magazine chooses the person, group or thing which it considers to have been the most influential or iconic in any particular year. Last year the pick was Pope Francis, and this year it is the Ebola caregivers who have been battling the vicious disease in West Africa and around the globe. 2014 was the year that Ebola became a major killer in parts of West Africa, and in October there were significant fears that the disease may even spread to the United States.

When YouGov asked the American public to write in whoever, or whatever, they think had done the most to influence events in 2014, Barack Obama was the most common response. The Islamist group ISIS was also a popular choice, along with Ferguson, Vladimir Putin and Ebola.

Ebola caregivers were named Person of the Year, but the shortlist included four other candidates. When presented with the shortlist, 43% said that Ebola caregivers should be named Person of the Year. 8% chose the Ferguson protesters, 7% picked Vladimir Putin and 2% opted for Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and the Kurdish Regional President Massoud Barzani. 65% of Americans say that Ebola caregivers was a good choice for TIME Person of the Year 2014.

Full poll results can be found here.