Surveys showing how Americans have ranked U.S. presidents over the years make one thing clear — it's not clear who is the nation's favorite president.
Various polls of historians and ordinary citizens have cited Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and John F. Kennedy as the best or most favorite president in American history.
A survey of 65 American historians by C-SPAN completed in 2009 ranked Lincoln as the nation's best president, followed by Washington, FDR, Theodore Roosevelt, and Harry Truman.
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Among recent presidents, the C-SPAN Survey found that JFK was No. 6, Reagan No. 10, Bill Clinton No. 15, and George H.W. Bush No. 18.
George W. Bush was at No. 36, but the lowest-ranking chief executive was James Buchanan at No. 42, just below Andrew Johnson.
A report from the National Constitution Center in February of this year disclosed that since 2000, historians have most often ranked Washington as the best president, followed by Thomas Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, and Theodore Roosevelt.
The Siena College Research Institute has asked 238 presidential scholars to rank the presidents five times since 1982.
The most recent poll showed FDR on top as their favorite.
The scholars also ranked the presidents on various characteristics and cited Jefferson as No. 1 for background and intelligence, Lyndon Johnson for the best relationship with Congress, and Lincoln for the ability to compromise.
A Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters conducted several weeks ago cited Reagan as the best commander-in-chief since World War II, followed by Clinton and Kennedy.
Respondents said Barack Obama ranks as the worst president since the 1940s.
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A Gallup poll in 2011 also found that Reagan is considered the best president, slightly ahead of Lincoln and Clinton. Among Republicans, 38 percent chose Reagan, while Clinton was No. 1 among Democrats and Lincoln was tops among independents.
Another Gallup poll, released in June, asked respondents who is their favorite among living presidents.
Clinton was No. 1 with about two-thirds of the vote, followed by George H.W. Bush (63 percent).
Just over half of those polled said they view George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter favorably, and just 47 percent felt that way about Obama.
A CNN/ORC International survey last year found that Kennedy is the most popular president of the last half-century, with 90 percent of respondents approving of his job as president.
Reagan was next with 78 percent, followed by Clinton with 74 percent. Richard Nixon is at the bottom with only 31 percent.
As further proof that Americans agree to disagree on their favorite president, a Newsweek magazine survey in 2012 ranked FDR as the best president, an ABC News survey in 2000 named Lincoln as the greatest, a Wall Street Journal poll in 2000 had Washington at the top, and a 2011 survey by Public Policy Polling named JFK as the favorite among the nine most recent presidents, followed by Reagan and Clinton.
But a report analyzing the results of 15 surveys conducted since 1948 showed Lincoln most consistently near the top, finishing first or second in 14 of the polls and No. 3 in the other.
FDR finished first or second in eight of the polls and no lower than No. 3 in any of them, and Washington finished first or second in seven surveys, and no lower than No. 4.
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