Last updated on: 3/28/2018 4:57:45 PM PST | Author: ProCon.org

US Presidential Rankings

 A.B.C.D.E.F.
 Presidential Greatness Survey
Jan. 16, 20181
Brookings Institution
Apr. 2, 20152
Siena Research Institute (SRI)
July 1, 20103
C-SPAN
20094
Wall Street Journal & Federalist Society
Feb.-Mar. 20055
Arthur
Schlesinger, Jr.

19966
1Abraham LincolnAbraham LincolnFranklin RooseveltAbraham LincolnGeorge WashingtonAbraham Lincoln
2George WashingtonGeorge WashingtonTheodore RooseveltGeorge WashingtonAbraham LincolnGeorge Washington
3Franklin RooseveltFranklin RooseveltAbraham LincolnFranklin RooseveltFranklin RooseveltFranklin Roosevelt
4Theodore RooseveltTheodore RooseveltGeorge WashingtonTheodore RooseveltThomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson
5Thomas JeffersonThomas JeffersonThomas JeffersonHarry TrumanTheodore RooseveltAndrew Jackson
6Harry TrumanHarry TrumanJames MadisonJohn F. KennedyRonald ReaganTheodore Roosevelt
7Dwight EisenhowerDwight EisenhowerJames MonroeThomas JeffersonHarry TrumanWoodrow Wilson
8Barack ObamaBill ClintonWoodrow WilsonDwight EisenhowerDwight EisenhowerHarry Truman
9Ronald ReaganAndrew JacksonHarry TrumanWoodrow WilsonJames PolkJames Polk
10Lyndon JohnsonWoodrow WilsonDwight EisenhowerRonald ReaganAndrew JacksonDwight Eisenhower
11Woodrow WilsonRonald ReaganJohn F. KennedyLyndon JohnsonWoodrow WilsonJohn Adams
12James MadisonLyndon JohnsonJames PolkJames PolkGrover ClevelandJohn F. Kennedy
13Bill ClintonJames MadisonBill ClintonAndrew JacksonJohn AdamsGrover Cleveland
14John AdamsJohn F. KennedyAndrew JacksonJames MonroeWilliam McKinleyLyndon Johnson
15Andrew JacksonJohn AdamsBarack ObamaBill ClintonJohn F. KennedyJames Monroe
16John F. KennedyJames MonroeLyndon JohnsonWilliam McKinleyJames MonroeWilliam McKinley
17George H.W. BushGeorge H.W. BushJohn AdamsJohn AdamsJames MadisonJames Madison
18James MonroeBarack ObamaRonald ReaganGeorge H.W. BushLyndon JohnsonJohn Quincy Adams
19William McKinleyJames PolkJohn Quincy AdamsJohn Quincy AdamsGeorge W. BushBenjamin Harrison
20James PolkWilliam TaftGrover ClevelandJames MadisonWilliam Taft Bill Clinton
21Ulysses GrantWilliam McKinleyWilliam McKinleyGrover ClevelandGeorge H.W. BushMartin Van Buren
22William TaftJohn Quincy AdamsGeorge H.W. BushGerald FordBill Clinton William Taft
23John Quincy AdamsGrover ClevelandMartin Van BurenUlysses GrantCalvin CoolidgeRutherford Hayes
24Grover ClevelandGerald FordWilliam TaftWilliam TaftRutherford HayesGeorge H.W. Bush
25Gerald FordMartin Van BurenChester ArthurJimmy CarterJohn Quincy AdamsRonald Reagan
26Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterUlysses GrantCalvin CoolidgeChester ArthurChester Arthur
27Martin Van BurenCalvin CoolidgeJames GarfieldRichard NixonMartin Van BurenJimmy Carter
28Calvin CoolidgeUlysses GrantGerald FordJames GarfieldGerald FordGerald Ford
29Rutherford HayesBenjamin HarrisonCalvin CoolidgeZachary TaylorUlysses GrantZachary Taylor
30George W. BushRutherford HayesRichard NixonBenjamin HarrisonBenjamin HarrisonCalvin Coolidge
31Chester ArthurJames GarfieldRutherford HayesMartin Van BurenHerbert HooverMillard Fillmore
32William HarrisonChester ArthurJimmy CarterChester ArthurRichard NixonJohn Tyler
33Richard NixonZachary Taylor Zachary TaylorRutherford HayesZachary TaylorFranklin Pierce
34James GarfieldRichard NixonBenjamin HarrisonHerbert HooverJimmy CarterUlysses Grant
35Zachary TaylorGeorge W. BushWilliam HarrisonJohn TylerJohn TylerHerbert Hoover
36Herbert HooverJohn TylerHerbert HooverGeorge W. BushMillard FillmoreRichard Nixon
37John TylerMillard FillmoreJohn TylerMillard FillmoreAndrew JohnsonAndrew Johnson
38Millard FillmoreHerbert HooverMillard FillmoreWarren HardingFranklin PierceJames Buchanan
39Warren HardingWilliam HarrisonGeorge W. BushWilliam HarrisonWarren HardingWarren Harding
40Andrew JohnsonFranklin PierceFranklin PierceFranklin PierceJames Buchanan 
41Franklin PierceAndrew JohnsonWarren HardingAndrew Johnson  
42William HarrisonWarren HardingJames BuchananJames Buchanan  
43James BuchananJames BuchananAndrew Johnson   
44Donald Trump     

Sources and notes:

  1. The 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey was conducted by Brandon Rottinghaus and Justin S. Vaughn, who surveyed current and recent members of the Presidents & Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association and received 170 usable responses between Dec. 22, 2017 and Jan. 16, 2018. Note that while President Trump is making his debut on this poll at the bottom of the list, he took office on Jan. 20, 2017, after the poll was conducted. Trump and all the former US Presidents were rated on a scale of 0-100 for their “overall greatness.” Abraham Lincoln scored the highest with an average rating of 95.03, while Donald Trump scored the lowest with an average rating of 12.34. The results were published at sps.boisestate.edu.
  2. Poll of several hundred members of the American Political Science Association by the Brookings Institution; Brandon Rottinghaus and Justin S. Vaughn, “Measuring Obama against the Great Presidents,” brookings.edu, Apr. 2, 2015
  3. Participants were 238 “presidential scholars, historians and political scientists;” “Presidents 2010 Rank by Category,” www.siena.edu, July 1, 2010
  4. Participants were 65 “presidential historians” and “other professional observers of the presidency;” “C-SPAN 2009 Historians Presidential Leadership Survey,” www.c-span.org, 2009
  5. Participants were 8 correspondents, editors, bureau chiefs, columnists, and writers of The Times; “Who’s the Greatest? The Times US Presidential Rankings,” by Jeremy Griffin and Nico Hines, www.timesonline.co.uk, Oct. 28, 2008
  6. Because of the short durations of their terms, William Henry Harrison and James Garfield were excluded from this ranking; participants were 85 “professors of history, law, political science and economics… the presidents are ranked in order of mean score, adjusted to give equal weight to Democratic- and Republican-leaning respondents;” “The Rankings,” www.opinionjournal.com, Sep. 12, 2005
  7. Participants were 32 “historians and close observers of presidential leadership;” “Rating the Presidents: Washington to Clinton,” by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Political Science Quarterly, Summer 1997