President Barack Obama should model himself after Ronald Reagan, according to Americans of both parties polled about which former president’s example to follow.
Reagan was the top choice among all voters, with 26 percent, followed by Franklin Roosevelt with 18 percent, John F. Kennedy with 17 percent, and Lincoln with 13 percent, according to a survey that Clarus Research Group compiled this past week.
"Reagan was the overwhelming favorite among Republican voters," said Ron Faucheux, president of the nonpartisan, Washington, D.C.-based research group. "He received 59 percent as the president GOP voters want Obama to emulate. Nobody else came close."
On the other hand, Faucheux said, “Democrats scattered their choices more.FDR was their top pick at 27 percent and was closely followed by Kennedy, with 26 percent. Lincoln, a Republican, ranked third among Democrats."
The poll’s other findings: Independents favored Reagan, followed by FDR, Lincoln, and Kennedy. Voters younger than 30 selected JFK as their favorite. Reagan and Lincoln followed. Those older than 65 ranked Roosevelt first, and Reagan, second. White voters tapped Reagan as their top choice, with FDR second. Black voters favored Kennedy by a wide margin, with Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, second. Home regions of past presidents can still have political impact. Reagan, from California, did the best in the West (30 percent) and the worst in the Northeast (22 percent). FDR, a New Yorker, scored highest in the Northeast (26 percent) and lowest in the Midwest (15 percent). Reagan dominated small-town and rural America, winning 31 percent. Among urban voters, FDR led with 23 percent. Suburbanites also favored Reagan, with 28 percent. Reagan won high-income voters, classified in the survey as more than $100,000 a year, with 33 percent, while 21 percent gave FDR the nod. JFK and Reagan, at 21 percent, tied among voters with incomes under $50,000 a year. Education was a factor in some cases. FDR received 14 percent among voters without a college degree but 25 percent among those with graduate degrees. Kennedy won 27 percent of voters with high school educations and 14 percent among college graduates.
Presidents among the Founding Fathers — George Washington and Thomas Jefferson — received 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively, according to the poll, published on PR Newswire. Cold War Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower also received 4 percent and 3 percent among all voters. Theodore Roosevelt, a progressive Republican, captured 4 percent, while Democrat Andrew Jackson, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans, received 1 percent.
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