Based off data from a Quinnipiac University poll conducted in January of this year, here are the top 10 presidents since 1945. Should Trump make the list?
Presidents 10, 9, 8 and 7 - Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush
All four of these presidents were each picked by just 2% of respondents. They only outranked failed president Richard Nixon and his successor, Gerald Ford, who both received less than 1%.
Presidents 6 and 5 – Dwight Eisenhower and George W. Bush
These two-term Republic presidents were picked by just 3% of poll respondents each.
Bush’s legacy is undoubtedly the War on Terror.
4th best president – Bill Clinton
This Democratic president served between 1993 and 2000 and was picked as the best US president by 9% of poll respondents. He is remembered for his “third-way” approach, which Tony Blair was also seen to adhere to. Despite his high standing in the poll, he was impeached by the House of Representatives, but later acquitted by the Senate.
3rd best president - John F. Kennedy
Kennedy was assassinated mid-way through his presidency, but that did not stop him being picked by 12% of respondents as the best president since WW2. He was president during the Bay of Pigs invasion, as well as the infamous Cuban Missile Crisis.
He also presided over significant economic growth – compared to Eisenhower’s time in power.
2nd best president – Barack Obama
In the same poll, Obama was also picked as the second worst US president since the War, but this only goes to show how he has divided opinion. A striking 29% of poll respondents picked Barack Obama as the best president since 1945.
According to the Balance, under President Obama the US deficit initially rose to combat the 2008 economic crash, but fell year-on-year until a small rise in 2016. He is also known for Obamacare which extended health insurance to many US citizens who did not have it before, something which has been a divisive issue.
The BEST president since World War Two – Ronald Reagan
A grand total of 30% of poll respondents picked Reagan as the best president since WW2. He is also the net best president, with a net worst/best president score of +25% compared to Obama’s +6%, and Kennedy’s +11%.
Reagan is known for his small-state economics, including significant tax-cuts, and his tough foreign policy stance on the USSR and communism.
What about Donald Trump?
With sinking approval ratings, and the analysis that he is “historically unpopular” by FiveThirtyEight, it’s difficult to imagine him making it anywhere near the top of this list, however, many of his proponents are fierce supporters of him, something which could help his standing if he were included in this poll.
The full results of the poll can be accessed here.