Barack Obama Named Best President In Most Americans’ Lifetimes, According To New Survey

Thibault Camus, FileAP Images

Barack Obama is America’s Best President – at least, the best president in the lifetimes of poll respondents, according to a new Pew survey.

As The Metro reports, the new survey asked Americans to name the best president in their lifetimes – so that rules out George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, for example. It also rules out just about everyone before FDR, really, considering the way the polling shook out with regards to age distribution and all that.

A plurality of respondents (44 percent) said that Barack Obama was the best president in their lifetimes, while 13 percent of respondents said he was second best. Bill Clinton came in second, at 33 percent, followed by Ronald Reagan at 32 percent. In what will likely be disappointing news for Donald Trump, he came in fourth place at 19 percent.

It bears noting that at this point in Barack Obama’s presidency, the same poll rewarded him with equal numbers to Donald Trump’s current numbers.

Rounding out the bottom of the list were Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, and FDR, at one percent each. Again, considering how many respondents were even alive during those administrations (this writer, for example, was born in the Nixon administration) could at least partially account for those men’s low numbers.


Meanwhile, according to U.K. magazine Joe, 62 percent of Millennials said Obama was the best president of their lifetimes. However, considering that most social historians consider the early 1980’s as the earliest birth years for “Millenials,” they only had five to choose from (Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, Obama and Trump).

As for the youngest of young poll respondents (the youngest a registered voter could be in the U.S. is 18), they would have them born during or immediately after the waning weeks of the Clinton administration, giving them only four (or even three) choices. It is not clear how the 18-year-old poll respondents voted.

Similarly, Americans aged 54 to 90 (someone who is 90-years-old would have been born during the Calvin Coolidge administration) named Ronald Reagan as the best president in their lifetimes.

Breaking down the numbers into Republican vs. Democrat, 71 percent of Democrats thought that Barack Obama was either the best or second best in their lifetimes, while Bill Clinton came in second, with 49 percent saying he was either the best or second-best. As for Republicans: Reagan got top honors, with 52 percent, while Trump came in second at with what Metro writer Jimmy McCloskey calls a “respectable” 40 percent.