December 2, 2011

The Generations and Politics: Who Was Our Best President?

48%

Despite their young age during his presidency, nearly half (48%) of Millennials say that Bill Clinton did the best job of any president in their lifetime.

When asked which president has done the best job in their lifetime, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan are the two most popular choices. Sizeable numbers in each of the four generational groups — including majorities of Millennials and Gen Xers — cite Clinton as either their first or second choice on the “best president” question.

Combining the generations, 49% of respondents pick Clinton as their first or second choice; 34% pick Reagan as a first or second choice; and, 20% select Obama as a first or second choice.

Despite their young age during his presidency, nearly half (48%) of Millennials say Clinton did the best job of any president in their lifetime; another 12% cite him as the second best president. President Obama receives less support, with just 37% of Millennials citing him as the best or second-best president during their lifetime. As expected, relatively few (22%) members of this group pick George W. Bush.

Beyond the Millennials, nearly four-in-ten (38%) members of Generation X named Clinton as the best president in their lifetime; another 18% made him their second choice. About a third (34%) of Gen Xers named Reagan as the best president; another 9 percent making him their second choice.

Baby Boomers and the over-65 members of the Silent generation picked Reagan as the best president in their eyes, though Clinton was not far behind.. Among Boomers, 33% picked Reagan with their first choice and 12% had him as their second choice. Bill Clinton Clinton was the first choice of approximately a quarter of this group (27%) and the second choice of 15%. Nearly three-in-ten (27%) members of the Silent generation picked Reagan as their first choice.. Bill Clinton was the first choice of 23% of Silents and the second choice of 12%. Read More