February 18, 2008

Lincoln’s Ranking Among U.S. Presidents

No. 1

That’s the score tallied by President Abraham Lincoln in a nationwide 2007 Gallup poll that asked respondents to name the “greatest United States president.” In Gallup’s 2005 survey on the issue, two recent presidents, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, outpolled the Civil War president who was born on February 12, 199 years ago.

Polls of scholars over more than half a century have consistently ranked Abraham Lincoln among the top three presidents and, according to Gallup surveys on the subject conducted since 1999, the U.S. public agrees. But Lincoln had slipped from No. 1 to No. 23 in Gallup’s 2005 poll, behind the recently deceased Ronald Reagan. Last year, however, Gallup found that Lincoln had regained his leading position with 18% of Americans naming him the greatest U.S. president, followed closely by Reagan, with 16%, John F. Kennedy, with 14%, Bill Clinton (13%) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (9%). Read More