Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Obama behind JFK in new 'best president' poll, Dubya tied for last with Nixon

Poll jumping

Posted by Chris Haire on Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 1:33 PM

A plurality of voters think Barack Obama is the fourth best president since World War II, a new poll says. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, 8 percent of voters think the current president is the best since 1945.

Obama’s predecessor, former President George W. Bush, came in last place (1 percent), tied with both Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Bush also landed after Jimmy Carter, who 2 percent of voters said was the best president in the time period.

Only six percent of Democratic voters said Ronald Reagan was the best president since World War II; only four other presidents fared worse among Democrats (Republicans, on the hand, overwhelmingly said the Gipper was the best at 66 percent; those who didn't were summarily sent to Angola Prison in Louisiana). Among all voters, Bill Clinton came in second place at 18 percent (first among Dems), while John F. Kennedy came in third with 15 percent of the vote. Reagan, despite his strong disapproval by Democrats, landed in first place for best president, earning 35 percent.

Since Quinnipiac's 2006, Clinton has seen his "worst" rankings decrease by 13 points, from 16 to 3, while GWB has seen his drop by 6, from 34 to 28. Both Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon have seen their rankings drop as well, by 5 and 4 points respectively. All in all, the poll seems to indicate that the "worst" rankings slowly fall over time and that current or recent presidents have substantially more troubling "worst" rankings, you know, because their fuck-ups are either ongoing or too recent to forget.

The poll also notes that older voters, 65 and up, show greater favor to the presidents of their younger, more virile days than other voters, with 10 percent saying Harry Truman was the best president ever, 17 percent praising Kennedy, and 6 percent for Eisenhower. Among those three presidents, not a single voter over 65 said they were the worst president ever. Surprisingly, among ill-informed younger voters (18-29) JFK and Clinton were called the best, with both receiving 21 percent. The next two presidents were Reagan at 18 percent and Obama at 10. Dubya only received 1 percent among 18-29 year olds.

The survey was conducted June 24-30 with 1,446 registered voters on land lines and cellphones. The margin for error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

Note: This column was inspired by July 2 Politico article "Poll: Obama Worst President Since WII."http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/poll-obama-worst-president-since-wwii-108507.html

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