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Study: The Best And Worst Presidents In US History

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Study: The Best And Worst Presidents In US History

In an effort to determine the best and worst presidents in the history of the United States of America, CSPAN assessed the performance of all U.S. presidents. 

Survey participants for the CSPAN study came from a diverse background of tenured American professors, presidential historians, lawyers and journalists. The survey sample size was 91 and the respondents answers were confidential.

The study was more than a mere popularity contest, and drew from 10 leadership and administrative skills including:

  • Public Persuasion
  • Crisis Leadership
  • Economic Management
  • Moral Authority
  • International Relations
  • Pursued Equal Justice For All
  • Performance Within Context of Times

The Presidential Historians Survey has been conducted three times: 2000, 2009 and 2017. As a result, current President Donald Trump is left out from the aggregate rankings.

Best And Worst U.S. Presidents

The following are the total scores and overall rankings of the best and worst presidents in U.S. history.

US President

Aggregate Score

Ranking

Abraham Lincoln

907

1

George Washington

868

2

Franklin D. Roosevelt

855

3

Theodore Roosevelt

807

4

Dwight D. Eisenhower

745

5

Harry S. Truman

737

6

Thomas Jefferson

727

7

John F. Kennedy

722

8

Ronald Reagan

691

9

Lyndon B. Johnson

687

10

Woodrow Wilson

683

11

Barack Obama

669

12

James Monroe

646

13

James K. Polk

637

14

William J. Clinton

634

15

William McKinley

627

16

James Madison

610

17

Andrew Jackson

609

18

John Adams

604

19

George H. W. Bush

596

20

John Quincy Adams

590

21

Ulysses S. Grant

557

22

Grover Cleveland

540

23

William Howard Taft

528

24

Gerald R. Ford

509

25

Jimmy Carter

506

26

Calvin Coolidge

506

27

Richard M. Nixon

486

28

James A. Garfield

481

29

Benjamin Harrison

462

30

Zachary Taylor

458

31

Rutherford B. Hayes

458

32

George W. Bush

456

33

Martin Van Buren

450

34

Chester A. Arthur

446

35

Herbert Hoover

416

36

Millard Fillmore

394

37

William Henry Harrison

383

38

John Tyler

372

39

Warren G. Harding

360

40

Franklin Pierce

315

41

Andrew Johnson

275

42

James Buchanan

245

43

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