The last year was full of controversial, surprising and dramatic news -- from Starbucks changing its gun policy, to George Zimmerman's many misadventures with the law, to the Redskins coming under pressure to change the team name, and much more. A great deal of those stories and others elicited strong opinions from AOL.com users, and at times we posed questions to you about certain current events to take the temperature of our audience. Take a look back at how you and your fellow AOL.com users voted in some of our most notable polls of 2013.
A look back at notable AOL.com polls from 2013
In October, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder responded to mounting pressure to change the name of his NFL franchise in an open letter, and defended the team's rich history and loyal fan base as reasons why he would resist changing its name.
This photo taken by official White photographer Pete Souza ignited controversy in September because President Obama was shown with is foot on the desk in the Oval Office, which many viewed as disrespectful.
A traffic stop in late July, less than a month after his acquittal in the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin, was the first in a series of brushes with the law George Zimmerman has had since his trial ended. He was then pulled over by a police officer in late September.
Arizona Senator John McCain was caught playing poker on his phone during a September congressional hearing about the possibility of military intervention in Syria. After being busted, McCain tweeted that the worst part of the 'scandal' was that he 'lost' the game.
In September, popular coffee chain Starbucks reversed its policy on guns, and asked patrons to leave weapons at home. In an open letter, CEO Howard Schultz wrote, 'Our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life.'
Pope Francis splashed onto the scene by breaking with many long-held traditions his predecessor adhered to. In September, he asserted that the Catholic Church has been 'obsessed' with homosexuality and abortion, and should focus more on being a 'home for all.' Many saw his remarks as a refreshing change of perspective.
After 24-year-old Nina Davuluri made history by becoming the first woman of Indian descent to be crowned Miss America, she was met with a racist backlash on Twitter that took aim at Indians and Muslims.
In week 5 of the NFL season, Peyton Manning led the Broncos to a thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Dallas Cowboys, 51-48, which propelled Denver to a 5-0 start. Two weeks later, the perfect season would be ruined as the Broncos lost to the Colts, 39-33, in Peyton Manning's first return to Indianapolis.
Two weeks after asking Congresss to authorize the use of military force in Syria, President Obama addressed a war-weary nation and made the case for intervention in the two-year-old civil war. He closed his speech with a remark about America stepping in when it sees a gross human rights injustice. 'That's what makes us exceptional,' he concluded.
A day after President Obama addressed the nation on the Syria crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin responded with a controversial op-ed in the New York Times, in which he cautioned against rushing to intervene in Syria, and disavowed President Obama idea of 'American exceptionalism,' and declared 'God created us equal.'
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi sparked interest in a potential Hillary Clinton White House bid in 2016 when she said, 'With all due respect to our president -- I think he's magnificent and wonderful and a blessing to us -- but [Hillary Clinton would be] certainly more prepared than President Obama, certainly more prepared than President [George W.] Bush, certainly more prepared than President [Bill] Clinton,' in an interview. The next day, Sarah Palin chimed in saying she would be 'very disappointed' if Hillary Clinton won election to the White House.
With a shutdown looming and an Oct. 1 launch of the Affordable Care Act approaching, the House of Representatives voted to defund Obamacare, raising tensions in a budget battle between Republicans and Democrats.
Following Texas Senator Ted Cruz's 21-hour talkathon on the Senate floor in which he railed against Obamacare, fellow Republican and Arizona Senator slammed Cruz over the tactic, declaring, 'We are dividing the Republican Party rather than attacking Democrats.'
With the government shutdown just hours away, AOL users were almost evenly divided about who was most to blame for the potentially crippling impasse.
After Chris Christie cruised to reelection as governor of New Jersey, and talk of him mounting a White House bid in swirled, the AOL.com edit team ran some unscientific fantasy polls to see how he'd fare against some other popular Republicans. Jeb Bush gave him the stiffest competition.
Chris Christie walloped Ted Cruz in an unscientific fantasy poll of AOL.com users conducted back in November.
Christie easily defeated Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in an unscientific fantasy poll of AOL.com users.
Even popular Florida Senator Marco Rubio was no match for Chris Christie in an unscientific fantasy poll of AOL.com users.
The AOL.com fantasy polls all led to a main event featuring the 2016 showdown everyone was talking about in November: Chris Christie versus Hillary Clinton. In our unscientific fantasy poll, Christie handily defeated the former first lady and secretary of state by 10 percentage points.