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Best and Worst US Presidents

Based on the clue, guess these US presidents ranked the best and worst in history.
Based on aggregate polling data of conservative, liberal, and centrist presidential historians, 1948-2018
Quiz by kalbahamut
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First submittedMay 30, 2018
Last updatedDecember 11, 2018
Times taken625
Rating2.92
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Top Quartile
1
Preserved the Union
Abraham Lincoln
2
The New Deal
Franklin Roosevelt
3
Father of the country
George Washington
4
Trust buster
Theodore Roosevelt
5
Declaration of Independence author
Thomas Jefferson
6
Saw the end of WW2
Harry Truman
7
President during WW1
Woodrow Wilson
8
Established NASA;
ended Korean War
Dwight Eisenhower
9
Expanded suffrage to non-property owners; won Battle of New Orleans
Andrew Jackson
10
Civil rights and moon landing were on his agenda
John F. Kennedy
11
Rescued U.S. from the Great Recession;
signed Affordable Care Act
Barack Obama
Bottom Quartile
34
Great Depression president
Herbert Hoover
35
Served 16 months before dying in office
Zachary Taylor
36
Reconstruction president dogged by scandal
Ulysses S. Grant
37
Unelected president dubbed "his Accidency"
John Tyler
38
Famous for dying one month in to his term
William Henry Harrison
39
The last Whig president
Millard Fillmore
40
Policies led to violent conflict over the expansion of Slavery in the American West
Franklin Pierce
41
First president to be impeached
Andrew Johnson
42
Teapot Dome scandal
Warren Harding
43
Failed to stop the outbreak of civil war
James Buchanan
44
Set numerous records for lying, scandal, corruption and incompetence.
Donald Trump
+8
level 76
May 30, 2018
This is not based on my personal opinion. If it were, I'd probably rank Truman, Wilson, Jackson and Kennedy all lower. I'd rank Obama, Polk, and Clinton higher. I'd probably put Hoover lower, Grant higher, I might try to find room for Reagan and Bush Jr. in the bottom quartile (Bush Jr. only narrowly avoids inclusion, presently ranked 32nd just above Nixon), and if possible I'd figure out a way to rank Trump lower than 44th. He so richly deserves his placement here but I feel simply being last is inadequate.
+10
level 28
May 30, 2018
This stinks of leftist bashing.
+6
level 76
May 30, 2018
"Based on aggregate polling data of conservative, liberal, and centrist presidential historians, 1948-2018"
+3
level 59
May 30, 2018
Which polling data was used?
+9
level 76
May 30, 2018
Arthur Meier Schlesinger, notable historian of Harvard, polled 75 historians for rankings from 1948 and 1962. His son conducted a similar poll in 1992.
The Chicago Tribune conducted a poll in 1982 of 49 historians.
The Siena Research Institute of Siena College has conducted surveys of historians in 1982, 1990, 1994, 2002 and 2010.
Other polls were conducted by the Wall Street Journal, C-SPAN, the American Political Science Association, etc. You can see the whole list here

The APSA did the most recent poll, and the only one to include Trump. They had scholars self-identify as Republican, Democrat, or Independent. Even amongst Republican scholars, Trump was ranked 40th out of 44 presidents. He was dead last amongst Democrats, and by Independents (who skew conservative and libertarian) he was ranked 43rd.
+1
level 62
Nov 28, 2018
That link needs to be at the top as your source rather than a description of it.
+2
level 76
Nov 28, 2018
don't be so lazy.
+2
level 76
May 11, 2019
If something as objective and non-partisan as the data presented here seems biased to you, which is taken from many different polls of hundreds of different presidential historians of all different political persuasions, then probably you are yourself biased.
+6
level 65
Jun 3, 2018
Kalbahamut, I love all of your quizzes (and your comments, although they can get a bit ranty at times). Your insightful perspective and content has not only taught me itself but also driven me to seek out information on my own, and question the views of the conservative household I have grown up in. Almost solely because of your influence I have learned enough to place second in my state geography bee. This is yet another of your quizzes which has encouraged me to learn more. For all that you have done for me and the JetPunk community, I would like to thank you. :)
+4
level 76
Jun 3, 2018
well, gee... thanks. Sincerely. When I'm not posting just to show appreciation for the quiz author, or to entertain myself or make someone laugh... particularly the posts that get a bit "ranty"... my main aim is usually to encourage people to look things up and learn something. This is the reason that I post things that fly in the face of conventional wisdom; not to try and offend anybody but just to inspire those reading to ask questions and think for themselves. Happy to hear it worked at least once.
+2
level 65
Jun 4, 2018
I'm sure many others feel the same way about you. Keep writing great quizzes and comments!
+7
level 39
Jun 14, 2018
How come Obama is on the top and Trump is on the bottom? It should be the other way around.
+9
level 76
Jun 14, 2018
Not according to any honest person who knows what they're talking about. Even amongst self-identified Republican historians, Trump is ranked 40th of 44 presidents. This is not fake news. It's reality.
+2
level 50
Nov 28, 2018
I guess everyone who likes Trump is stupid! Who knew?
+6
level 76
Nov 28, 2018
Not at all! Some are racists. Some are Nazis. Some are evil plutocrats or Russian despots who view Trump as a useful idiot. And then the rest are some combination of stupid, ignorant, or extremely confused. I think that covers everything.

Though the comment you are replying to doesn't say smart people understand that Trump is the worst president in history, it says that those who know what they're talking about understand that. There's a difference between ignorance and stupidity. As for those who know what they're talking about, I'm speaking to presidential historians in this case, including self-identified conservative and Republican historians who rank Trump in the bottom 4 of all time.
+5
level 76
Jul 17, 2018
I think if they conducted a new poll after Helsinki even Republican historians would have to concede that Trump is the worst president in history.
+2
level 38
Aug 17, 2018
JFK was assassinated in November 1963. The first man landed on the Moon in July 1969. While he may have conceived the idea, how can we say that he put the first man on the moon?
+2
level 76
Aug 20, 2018
What do you think a better clue would be? The Apollo program was dedicated to Kennedy; though actually you're wrong, JFK was not the first to conceive of the idea. He just made it a publicly stated priority.
+3
level 71
Oct 1, 2018
What about: "successfully solved the Cuban Missile Crisis"?
+2
level 76
Oct 1, 2018
eh... in my subjective opinion Kennedy did more to inflame and destabilize that situation than to solve it. But maybe I could change the clue to "slept with Marilyn Monroe."
+2
level 69
Oct 3, 2018
JFK had a nuclear showdown with a country who had responded to the U.S. placing nuclear missiles in Turkey and Germany right on U.S.S.R.'s backyard and literally within a minute of Soviet Bloc countries. They in turn placed missiles down in the Carribean not as close to any significant U.S. military installation as American missiles were to many Eastern strategic points. Pushing it to the brink of nuclear war for ass kissing points with the American public was inexcusable. JFK was, however, a great motivator for the country, continued ongoing civil rights advancement and scored hotter chicks than most Presidents.
+2
level 59
Dec 1, 2018
How about the Civil Rights Act? I know Johnson signed it into law, but Kennedy authored it and was its champion from the start. I admit I tried Nixon first just based on the clue (although had I stopped for even a moment to think, I'd have realized that the only president to resign in disgrace probably doesn't rank in the top quartile).
+1
level 76
May 11, 2019
I changed it to include something about civil rights
+1
level 71
Oct 2, 2018
There's still time for Trump to climb the charts to number one...
+3
level 76
Oct 3, 2018
From number 44? The most impressive turn around in history? Well if he can pull it off, great. I'd be rooting for him.
+2
level 76
Feb 24, 2019
Hey in the last Siena poll he was voted 42nd! Moving on up!
+2
level 69
Oct 3, 2018
He may have a larger percentage of more blindly ignorant supporters than even any pro slavery President.
+3
level 59
Dec 1, 2018
Are we so sure he's not a pro-slavery president?
+1
level 46
Mar 5, 2019
We are certain he is not a pro-slavery president.
+2
level 55
Nov 28, 2018
Whenever I make my lists, personally I leave out recent presidents. So while it's probably premature to call Trump the worst president, well, I don't see that changing.
+3
level 76
Nov 28, 2018
I didn't make this list. Are you a presidential historian?
+2
level 76
Feb 24, 2019
Data on a new Siena poll has been added to the Wikipedia page. Obama has moved out of the top quartile from 11th to 13th place, and Polk has moved up to the 11th position. Everything else is exactly the same. I'm going to the leave the quiz as is until there are some more significant changes.
+1
level 76
Jun 14, 2019
and now Wikipedia has removed the aggregate column from their page... that sucks... I guess I could still update this when new polls are added but I would have to average all the data together myself now. :P
+1
level 24
Apr 11, 2019
This isn't leaning left at all
+2
level 76
Apr 11, 2019
correct
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