Survey Ranks US Presidents On 'Overall Greatness'

Casey Dawson
February 20, 2018

For overall greatness, Abraham Lincoln took the No. 1 spot while Barack Obama ranks No. 8.

"Donald Trump is by far the most polarising of the ranked presidents", poll authors Brandon Rottinghaus and Justin Vaughn wrote.

Bearing in mind that this was Trump's first year in office, the survey takers asked respondents to grade him on an A-F scale.

The Times' survey, which was the first since 2014, also reveals some interesting trends about the legacy of other presidents.

According to an op-ed that appeared in The New York Times yesterday (i.e., Presidents' Day), presidential scholars rank Donald Trump dead last in greatness, supplanting the godawful presidency of James Buchanan in the years before the Civil War.

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The full survey also reveals that Trump is seen as the most polarizing president in American history, with a polarization score that ranked him significantly ahead of former President Andrew Jackson, who ranked second in terms of presidential polarization.

Trump ranked No. 44 - last place - with a score of 12.34. The top seven Presidents of all time were Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Harry Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Obama shot into the top 10, up from 18th when a previous survey was conducted in 2014. Only Ronald Reagan had an overall higher ranking a month after leaving office. Trump didn't even rank well among self-identified Republicans and conservatives, coming in 40th. He surprisingly scored highest for communicating with the public and lowest for embodying institutional norms.

Trump was rated worse than President Richard Nixon, who quit under pressure from the Watergate scandal, ranking as 33rd.

Trump doesn't get much of a lift from Republican-only vote: Even in their eyes, he's a bottom-five president.

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