Political Scientists Rank the Presidents

February 20, 2018

Photo of Abraham LincolnThe New York Times marked Presidents' Day with a survey of the American Political Science Association’s Presidents and Executive Politics section, asking members to rank the presidents of the United States. Presidents Lincoln, Washington and Franklin Delano Roosevelt took the top three spots, as they did in the last survey, in 2014. But there were some notable changes. Presidents Clinton and Jackson fell out of the top 10, going down five and six spots, respectively. The Times speculates that Clinton's decline relates to a greater focus on his treatment of women, and that Jackson's relates to more awareness of his policies on Native Americans. President Obama joined the top 10 for the first time, moving up 10 spots to land at eight. President Trump was last, taking over a position that had been held by President Buchanan.

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