How Americans rate the last 10 presidents and their first ladies | YouGov

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The latest YouGov survey He asked Americans to rank the last 10 US presidents and first ladies from richest to poorest. The results show that recent presidents — including Joe Biden, Donald Trump and Barack Obama — are among the most talkative, while past presidents are more likely to appear on average. Of the last 10 people to hold office, Ronald Reagan is the most likely to be rated highly or above average. Among first ladies, Rosalyn Carter and Michelle Obama stand out as the most respected, with nearly half rating them as average or above average.

Most recent first ladies are more likely to be viewed favorably by Americans than their husbands, presidents. One big exception: Hillary Clinton is less popular than her husband, Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton, unlike other recent first ladies, has been involved in electoral politics more often since her husband’s presidency ended.

Presidential ratings

Among the past 10 U.S. presidents are Ronald Reagan (rated 46 percent above or above average), Barack Obama (41 percent), and Donald Trump (37 percent).

Current President Joe Biden ranks in the bottom half of the 10 most recent presidents, with 22% saying he is outstanding or above average. George W. Bush (22%) and Lyndon B. Johnson (21%) could be rated similarly. Sixteen percent of Americans rate Richard Nixon as outstanding or above average.

Other than Nixon — 42% rated him poor or below average — the presidents most likely to rate him below average are those most recently in office: 52% Biden poor or below average, 48% Trump and 36% Obama.

Views of recent presidents are sharply divided by party. Democrats are 64 percentage points more likely than Republicans to say Obama was outstanding or above average, 44 points more likely to say Biden was, and 39 points more likely to say Bill Clinton was. On the other hand, Republicans are 66 points more likely than Democrats to say Trump has been an outstanding or above-average president, and 56 points more likely than Reagan. Opinions about Nixon, George W. Bush, and George H.W. Bush are less political.

The steps of the first lady

Among the last 10 first ladies, Rosalyn Carter is rated as very good or above average (46%), followed closely by Michelle Obama (45%). Pat Nixon – like her husband – is likely to be considered at least excellent or above average. However, few see her as poor or below average, and nearly one in three have no opinion.

The wives of four of the five most recent presidents — all but Laura Bush — are more likely to receive lower ratings: 31% for Jill Biden as poor or below average, 39% for Melania Trump, 28% for Michelle Obama and 37% for Hillary Clinton.

Like presidents, recent first ladies have been very politically divisive. Democrats are 60 percent more likely than Republicans to say Michelle Obama has been a wonderful or above-average first lady, 51 percent more than Hillary Clinton and 41 percent more likely than Jill Biden.

Republicans are 48 points more likely than Democrats to rate Melania Trump excellent or above average, and 34 points more likely to rate Nancy Reagan that way. Pat Nixon, Lady Bird Johnson, Barbara Bush and Laura Bush are far less divisive.

– David Montgomery and Carl Bialik contributed to this article

Check out the results of this YouGov poll

method: This poll was conducted online November 20 – 27, 2023 among 1,000 US adults. Respondents were selected from a YouGov opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (matched by sex, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was stratified by gender, age, race, education, 2020 voter turnout and presidential election, primary party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets are from the 2019 American Community Survey. Base party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given before November 1, 2022, and is weighted against the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the total sample is about 4%.

Image: Getty

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