CNN/Opinion Research Poll – January 14-16 – Past Presidents
January 20th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
3 years ago

CNN/Opinion Research Poll – January 14-16 – Past Presidents

TOPICS: Retrospective approval ratings for John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush

Full results (pdf)


Filed under: CNN Poll Archive • Extra
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. diridi

    The Worst are Ronald Reagan and Bush-2.....the Best are Bill Clinton, Obama....that's it...

    January 20, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Dennis C. Williams

    You should have made it clear that the selection was only of presidents over the past 50 years. I could not understand how Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln could be overlooked by this group.

    January 20, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. concerned liberal

    I guess we can put the myth of Obama is the Most Popular Ever to rest. Many now realize it will not be true.

    Obama has rolled over to Republicans, broken many of his campaign promises to liberal voters, and continued the military campaigns and prison camps, and now makes nice with big corporations (many of whom donated to his campaign).

    And he now has lots of enemies in WashDC (wasn't that one of his taunts sneered against Hillary during the campaign?). Welcome to real life.

    So who is he more popular than at this point? Nixon and Bush?

    January 20, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    What nonsense. Do people actually even remember what some of these presidents did and what they screwed up after nearly 50 years in some cases? Trust me, Carter was a DISASTER for this country. Iranian hostages, gas lines, hyper inflation, etc. etc Now this dumb survey says 60% approve of him. If that was the case then he would have been re-elected. Honestly CNN, do you have anything better to do with your time and money?

    January 20, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. Bill

    Obama is not even fit to be a aid to Kennedy. Clinton and Reagan both outshine any of the others. I consider Obama in the lower half of all President. He speaks well but thats about it.

    January 20, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    What's the matter CNN? Too soft and sensitive to take real criticism or allow it to appear on your website? One would think that if it burns your britches so much you'd actually respond to it...either directly by way or defense or by changing the behavior criticized. An honest public discussion about the "news" media's role in helping ne'er-do-well politicians and their strategery and tactics poison our public debates is LONG OVERDUE, but it's being actively avoided and crushed because YOU CONTROL THE NARRATIVE and don't have the nuggets to do the required introspection and face the debate. There's a reason Thomas Jefferson hated newspapers and our current "journalism" industry not only exemplifies ever bit of what he said and predicted, but has amplified it beyond anything he could ever have imagined.

    "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."
    -TJ

    Sure a free press and free speech are important, but the unfettered abuse of those rights, which goes unchecked because the unspoken agreement among ALL "news" media to NEVER allow discourse or narratives to question the integrity of the "news" media itself, has become abhorrent and an abuse of the populace you're intended to serve.

    It's no wonder you all crapped your pants when Assange hit the scene. He's putting the lie to your willful ignorance and avoidance of the truth. What really scares you more: the idea that Wikileaks is releasing embarassing documents that have the potential to damage foreign relations OR the idea that it's releasing information that, to any careful observer, could put the lie to your sensationalization shenanigans and expose just how corrupted your "journalism" is by the desire for profit?

    Grow a pair and address it. I guarantee you'll be suprised by how much appreciation people show for you doing so.

    January 20, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "I guess we can put the myth of Obama is the Most Popular Ever to rest."

    Interesting. Did you just invent that myth so you'd have something to talk about and criticize about him? I've certainly never heard it and nobody with a brain in their head would ever think that in America, land of the misinformed, angry, scared and bigotted, that the first black POTUS would rise to be more popular than all who came before him.

    January 20, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Marcus

    Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA – So Carter was a disgrace because OPEP (which IS NOT, nor ever was, under the control of the US government) caused the gas lines all over the world? Or because Khomeini wanted to make a political show to his followers (but as soon as Reagan gave him his money back he released the hostages)? True, had he or Reagan dealt with those incompetents aiatollahs (their Islamic Repulic more than doubled the number of atheists in the population according to their own numbers) we would have one major problem to deal with as of today.
    But you call him incompetent because of two situations that he had NO COMPLETE CONTROL about from the get go?

    concerned liberal – Unlike the previous POTUS, Obama do respect the Constitution and because of hat he can't simply impose his agenda upon the others while saying 'you are either with us or against us' or 'to criticize me is unpatriotic!'.
    HE IS NOT THE PRESIDENT OF THE LIBERALS. He's the President of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA, there are rules and procedures that were ignored by his predecessor. BUT HE WILL NOT DO THAT.

    January 20, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Marcus

    Nixon, whose paranoia granted all the proofs about his continual abuse of powers to those who investigated it, stays as the worst among those. Obama still has a lot to show and deliver and Reagan and Kennedy are too 'hors concours'.

    January 20, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. J.Howard

    sigh – another useless CNN poll. No surprise – mostly Republican folks are still in love with Regan/Nixon and Dems love JFK and Clinton. No surprise the crazy Rep always look for an opportunity to hate Obama.

    January 20, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    Just goes to show, that the Presidency's effectiveness and accomplishments, have little to do, with public opinion.

    It is the historians, that ultimately, give us a much more realistic view, of the merits of those who have held that office. The public tends to allow the media to overly influence their views, and they tend to evaluate poorly, as a result.

    January 20, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Nyak Gala

    I think that all of those mentioned Presidents, each one of them has also had their impact on our world and America in all their own rights. I think that with each leader and the particular era they lead in, there are always problems in the economy that they have tofix and with each term poses a number of issues and challenges at hand. I could never understand the real issues and some of the serious hatred that these Presidents have to endure. In America, which is a demoracy they have more of a functioning givernment compared to that of other countries. They are the ones that vote in their Presidents and I do not understand why after voting them in, they turn and start having this hatred towards them. I have liked all the Presidents so far and I feel thet Obama is doing a great job despite what some people have been saying about him even before he ran for the election. In the whole gist of it, he is merely a man and how they expect these miracles when people are refusing to assist him. Those that should be working have been forced to move into shelters instead of being encouraged to create jobs or even going back to school. I think that this has been the epidemy of what it is to be unfair to a person. However despite it all he has been able to rise and stay focused on what is important in America and the world.

    January 20, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Phil in KC

    I was a little surprised by Ford's numbers. I didn't think he would be quite that high. Same for Bush 1. I was not surprised, yet disappointed, by Reagan's numbers. Similarly, I was surprised yet gratified by how big Kennedy's numbers were.
    As an aside, why was there no narrative or recap – just the pdf results? Rather odd.

    January 20, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  14. alex

    I would be willing to bet some of these people who posted a comment were not around when some of these presidents held office. The best prez to ever walk the earth was Regan. the one we neen back in office is Bush 2.

    January 20, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Lee from NJ

    Reagan and "Dubyah" Bush will continue to sink over time as they accelerated the destruction of the middle class. FDR and (gasp) Obama will always look great in the long view of history for saving us from the out of control downward spiral of republican financial disasters.

    January 20, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |