Since World War II, America has had a dozen Presidents: Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama.
According to Quinnipiac, the best president out of that group was one Ronald Reagan by a landslide. Which is surprising given John F. Kennedy’s presence on the list. More interestingly is that Reagan’s popularity has risen since 2006, while Bill Clinton (second place) and JFK (third place) have both declined.
Just 8 percent picked Obama as the best President.
Meanwhile, 33 percent of poll respondents said Obama was the worst president:
A lot of these perceptions probably have to do with how recent these people were in office. Generally speaking, the public tends to be more forgiving of presidents once they’re out of office. Obama’s current level unpopularity in the sixth year of his administration is about where George W. Bush’s was in 2006, which was his 6th year. Bush’s unpopularity, meanwhile, has declined along with others like his father, Carter and Nixon.
You can’t say it’s a good thing that Obama is seen as the worst president now – his approval rating in this poll is 40 percent while is disapproval is 53 percent – but Americans tend to be more cynical about those in power at the moment, and less cynical about those who held power in the past.