POLL: UVA/Ipsos Poll Finds John F Kennedy Most Popular President, Richard Nixon the Least Popular. Donald Trump Ranked 10th Out of 12, Obama Ranked 3rd


Contrary to what he may claim from time to time, President Donald Trump is not the most popular president.

According to a University of Virginia Center for Politics/Ipsos poll released in advance of Presidents Day, Trump ranks on the low end of presidents in terms of popularity.

The survey asked 1,004 Americans to rate the dozen presidents who have served since the early 1950s.

The survey results, which show Obama near the top of the list and Trump near the bottom, would likely surprise only Trump:

Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, the two most recent Democratic presidents, round out the top four, while the current president, Donald Trump, finds himself near the bottom of the ratings.

Obama, Reagan, and Kennedy received the most support from respondents when asked which recent president they wish was serving in the White House right now.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being terrible and 10 being excellent, Kennedy had the highest average rating, 6.56, of any post-World War II president (going back to Dwight Eisenhower). The father-son Republican presidential pair of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush received the exact same rating, 5.45. Table 1 shows the average rating for modern presidents by the poll’s respondents.

The official rankings are as follows:

  1. John F. Kennedy
  2. Ronald Reagan
  3. Barack Obama
  4. Bill Clinton
  5. George H.W. Bush
  6. George W. Bush
  7. Dwight Eisenhower
  8. Jimmy Carter
  9. Gerald Ford
  10. Donald Trump
  11. Lyndon Johnson
  12. Richard Nixon

Kennedy had “the strongest bipartisan support of any modern president,” the poll notes, receiving high marks from Democrats, Republicans, and independents. Kennedy’s rating among Republicans was also “the highest rating the opposite-party identifiers gave to any modern president.”

Reagan was the highest-rated president among Republicans and Trump earned the second-best score among Republicans, further indication that the GOP has “rallied around him.” Trump earned the third-lowest overall mark among respondents, with the lowest ratings coming from Democrats.

As the nation commemorates Presidents Day, it’s evident that Trump’s popularity remains quite low outside of the GOP base.


Last year, a similar survey ranking presidential greatness also indicated just how polarized the nation is over Trump’s ascendancy.

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