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How have the Presidents Ranked over Time? How do Hubbers Rank Them? [95]

Updated on May 6, 2015

How does History Rank the Presidents?

POLLSTERS AND HISTORIANS have been rating presidential performances for a long time now. As you would expect, how each ranks the Presidents depends on where they stand philosophically; research has shown that Conservatively-biased polls/historians rank Presidents one way while Liberally-biased polls/historians rank them another. Fortunately, we have had enough of these polls and rankings, 17 in all and including ones where the survey was intentionally balanced, that taking the average is probably a very good estimate of the country's current consensus of how we feel each President has done, relative to the others.

The table presented below, instead of giving individual rankings, groups presidents, alphabetically, by quartile with 11 presidents being in each quartile. Included as well are each President's party and political persuasion. Following this will be a poll asking your opinion.

Ranking The Presidents

PRESIDENT 
QUARTILE 
PARTY 
PERSUATION
Eisenhower, Dwight 
Republican 
Moderate Conservative
Jackson, Andrew 
Democrat 
Very Conservative
Jefferson, Thomas 
Democrat-Republican 
Liberal Conservative
Lincoln, Abraham
1
Republican
Progressive
Roosevelt, Frankin D
1
Democrat
Moderate Progressive
Roosevelt, Theodore
1
Republican
Progressive
Polk, James K
1
Democrat
Conservative
Truman, Harry S
1
Democrat
Moderate Progressive
Washington, George
1
None
Independent
Wilson, Woodrow
1
Democrat
Progressive
Adams, John
2
Federalist
Liberal
Adams, John Q
2
Democrat-Republican
Liberal Conservative
Cleveland, Grover
2
Bourbon Democrat
Very Conservative
Clinton, William
2
Democrat
Moderate Liberal
Johnson, Lyndon B
2
Democrat
Liberal
Kennedy, John F
2
Democrat
Liberal
McKinley, William
2
Republican
Moderate Progressive
Madison, James
2
Democrat-Republican
Moderate Liberal
Monroe, James
2
Anti-Federalist
Conservative
Obama, Barack (1 poll)
2
Democrat
Moderate Liberal
Reagan, Ronald
2
Republican
Conservative
Arthur, Chester A
3
Republican
Conservative Progressive
Bush Sr., George H W
3
Republican
Moderate Conservative
Carter, Jimmy
3
Democrat
Conservative Liberal
Coolidge, Calvin
3
Republican
Moderate Conservative
Ford, Gerald R
3
Republican
Moderate Conservative
Garfield, James A
3
Republican
Progressive
Hayes, Rutherford B
3
Republican
Moderate Progressive
Hoover, Herbert
3
Republican
Conservative
Nixon, Richard
3
Republican
Moderate Conservative
Van Buren, Martin
3
Democrat
Conservative
Buchanan, James
4
Republican
Conservative
Bush, George W.
4
Republican
Very Conservative
Fillmore, Millard
4
Whig
Conservative
Grant, Ulysses S
4
Republican
Moderate Progressive
Harding, Warren G
4
Republican
Conservative
Harrison, Benjamin
4
Whig
Moderate Progressive
Harrison, William Henry
4
Whig
Only served 32 days
Johnson, Andrew
4
Democrat
Moderate Conservative
Pierce, Franklin
4
Democrat
Conservative
Taylor, Zachary & Tyler, John
4
Whig
Liberal Conservative/Conservative

JUST TO SUMMARIZE the table a bit:

  • In the 1st Qurartile, there are, by my classifications, 4 Conservatives, 5 Progressives/Liberals, and 1 Independent
  • In the 2nd Quartile, there are 4 Conservatives and 7 Progressives/Liberals
  • In the 3rd Quartile, there are 6 Conservatives and 4 Progressives/Liberals
  • In the 4th Quartile, there are 8 Conservatives and 2 Progressives/Liberals

For comparison, if political party did not play in whether a President was perceived and being great, good, fair, or poor, than the theoretical distribution would be:

  • In the 1st Qurartile, there should be 5.5 Conservatives, 4.5 Progressives/Liberals, and 1 Independent
  • In the 2nd Quartile, there should be 5.5 Conservatives and 4.5 Progressives/Liberals
  • In the 3rd Quartile, there should be 5.5 Conservatives and 4.5 Progressives/Liberals
  • In the 4th Quartile, there should be 5.5 Conservatives and 4.5 Progressives/Liberals

Using some simple Chi-squared statistical analysis, we find this apparent bias toward of Progrossive/Liberal presidents being better than their Conservative counterparts is real and not by chance alone.

A TEXT POLL, The New Way to Conduct Hub Surveys

I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THIS WILL WORK; I was hoping one of the hub polling options would let you enter names of choices which it would accumulate the totals, but it doesn't unless I do a poll that contains all of the Presidents names in it; that would be too cumbersome. Instead, let me ask you to provide a comment that contains, in no particular order, which three presidents were the greatest Presidents of all time and which three were the worst Presidents of all time; they may have been great or poor in other respects, but I am looking at their job as president

I will tabulate the results and present them in the table below. The initial numbers will contain my choices. Please participate; it should be fun.

HUBBERS OPINION OF THE THREE GREATEST PRESIDENTS OF ALL TIME (voters = 5)

PRESIDENT 
VOTES 
HISTORIC CONSENSUS 
Abraham Lincoln 
4
Bill Clinton
1
II
Calvin Coolidge
2
III
Franklin D. Roosevelt
3
George Washington
4
Lyndon B. Johnson
1
II 
Ronald Reagan
1
II

HUBBERS OPINION OF THE THREE WORST PRESIDENTS OF ALL TIME (voters = 5)

 PRESIDENT
VOTES 
HISTORIC CONSENSUS
Andrew Jackson
Barach Obama
2
II
George W. Bush
3
IV 
Grover Cleveland
II 
Jimmy Carter
2
III
Lyndon Johnson
1
II
Richad Nixon
2
III
Ronald Reagan
1
II
Woodrow WIlson
1
II
Ulysses S. Grant
1
IV
Warren G. Harding
1
IV

DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY # 1

Thinking about your Political Beliefs, do you find yourself agreeing mostly with those

See results

DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY # 2

Are you

See results

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    • My Esoteric profile image
      Author

      My Esoteric 6 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thanks for voting James.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Ronald Reagan was the best president, with George Washington 2nd. Calvin Coolidge was pretty cool too.

      The worst? Obama and Carter. With LBJ, FDR, and Wilson close behind.

    • My Esoteric profile image
      Author

      My Esoteric 6 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thanks for you vote, JJ San.

    • profile image

      jj san 6 years ago

      George w bush is the worst and bill Clinton was the best. great info.

    • My Esoteric profile image
      Author

      My Esoteric 6 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Duly noted, thanks Credence.

    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      The three best were Lincoln, Washington, and FDR in that order

      The worse were Harding, Nixon, and U.S Grant

    • My Esoteric profile image
      Author

      My Esoteric 6 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thank you for voting Brooke and Bunko Squad, I really do appreciate it.

    • the bunco squad profile image

      the bunco squad 6 years ago from Savannah GA

      My picks for the best would be FDR, Lincoln, LBJ.

      For the worst would be Reagan, Nixon, Bush II

    • Brooke Lorren profile image

      Brooke Lorren 6 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      Three Best:

      George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge

      Three Worst:

      Woodrow Wilson, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter