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Tags: Barack Obama | Presidential History | apsa | Barack Obama | presidents | Abraham Lincoln | survey

Survey: Obama 18th Best President, Lincoln at No. 1

By    |   Tuesday, 17 February 2015 12:17 PM

When it comes to ranking presidents, the verdict on Barack Obama is that he's just so-so.

In a 2014 survey of 162 members of the American Political Science Association's (APSA) Presidents & Executive Politics Section, Obama, the 44th president, ranked 18th, The Washington Post reports.

With two years left to go in Obama's second term, the final verdict on his place in history is not settled, but The New York Times, in a recent roundup of four presidential ranking surveys conducted between 2008 and 2011, predicted, "Mr. Obama will eventually come to be regarded as about the 17th-best president, somewhere on the boundary between good and average."

"For Obama in particular, the next two years may therefore prove crucial in determining whether his legacy will put him among the nation’s better presidents," the Post notes.

Hands down, President Abraham Lincoln is considered the greatest president by the APSA, followed by George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Clinton, Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson. Clinton and Eisenhower made it into the top 10 list for the first time in the current Post poll.

In the Times roundup, the results were similar — Lincoln first, followed by Franklin Roosevelt, Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, Jefferson, Truman, Wilson, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

The Post survey found that James Buchanan was considered the worst president, followed by Warren Harding, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce and William Harrison.

If there is a president whose face should be added to Mount Rushmore, historians overwhelmingly picked Franklin Roosevelt, with nearly two-thirds of the APSA respondents choosing him. Just 5 percent chose the next-lowest two, Eisenhower and Reagan, while only 2 percent would consider adding Obama to Mount Rushmore.

The remembered allure of Camelot grants Kennedy a higher estimation in the public mind than in the opinion of historians, the Post notes. Historians considered Kennedy to be the most overrated president, followed by Reagan and Andrew Jackson.

In 2010, 29 percent of poll respondents wanted to put Kennedy on Mount Rushmore, including 40 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Republicans, Vanity Fair reported.

The most underrated presidents in the Post poll included Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush and Harry S. Truman.

Obama was considered by the APSA members to be the second most polarizing president, after George W. Bush, and out of l9 presidents dating back to Teddy Roosevelt, Obama was rated 13th in legislative ability, 11th in diplomatic skill and 10th in military skill and integrity.

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Politics
When it comes to ranking presidents, the verdict on Barack Obama is that he's just so-so.
apsa, Barack Obama, presidents, Abraham Lincoln, survey
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2015-17-17
Tuesday, 17 February 2015 12:17 PM
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