Reagan named Greatest U.S. President in Gallup poll

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In the latest Gallup poll asking who the greatest U.S. president is, nineteen percent of the 1,015 randomly sampled individuals said The Gipper, Ronald Reagan, is the guy. This is the fourth time Reagan has topped the list in the last eight polls. Following Reagan was Abraham Lincoln with fourteen percent of the vote, and Bill Clinton with thirteen percent. Once again, Millard Fillmore was nowhere to be found.

Gallup notes that Americans as a group are more likely to mention recent presidents, due to general unfamiliarity with long-deceased historical presidents. The popularity-contest aspect of the poll is highlighted by the fact that Barack Obama, who hasn't even completed his first term in office, is rated higher than both Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson, two guys who did a few things.

Reagan, of course, was most popular among Republicans at thirty-eight percent, while Clinton was the name twenty-two percent of Democrats were most likely to mention. And nineteen percent of Independents thought Lincoln was the greatest all-time president. Curiously, even though he received less than 0.5% of the vote, so to speak, Richard Nixon was still considered by some to be the greatest Chief Executive this country has ever produced. Following are results for the top ten:

1. Ronald Reagan – 19%

2. Abraham Lincoln – 14%

3. Bill Clinton – 13%

4. John F. Kennedy – 11%

5. George Washington – 10%

6. Franklin Roosevelt – 8%

7. Barack Obama – 5%

8. Theodore Roosevelt – 3%

9. Harry Truman – 3%

10. George W. Bush – 2%

Nerve, of course, did its own ranking of the presidents, on rather different terms.