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Barack Obama named 'best' president of recent years

FAVOURITE: Barack Obama

THEY SAY you don't know what you've got till its gone - and in this case, America might be feeling that way when reflecting on their last few presidents.

In a survey, conducted by the Pew Research Centre from June 5-12, 2,002 adults were asked in an open-ended question, “Which president has done the best job during your lifetime?” They were asked to name both their first and second choices.

44% of respondents named Obama the best or second-best president of their lifetimes, followed by 33% who named Bill Clinton and 32% who named Ronald Reagan.

Respondents mentioned Donald Trump only 19% of the time, putting him in fourth place. According to TIME Magazine, that was roughly equivalent to Obama’s figure at a similar point in his presidency — in a similar survey in 2011, Obama was listed as the first or second choice by 20% of Americans.

Both presidents Bush fell lower on the list. George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush were named the best or second-best by 14% and 10% of Americans, respectively.

Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman and Franklin Roosevelt are named by less than 5% of respondents.


The results from the survey found that people’s views of the best president of their lifetimes are partly tied to their ages. Millennials, who are currently ages 22 to 37, are far more likely than older generations to name Obama as one of the best presidents in their lifetimes: About six-in-ten Millennials (62%) view Obama as one of the top two, with nearly half, 46%, naming him the best president.

Older generations are much more likely than Millennials to name Reagan as one of the best presidents. Reagan was president before most Millennials were born.

Gen Xers (ages 38 to 53) are divided in their assessments: 45% of Gen Xers name Reagan, while nearly as many mention Obama (41%) or Clinton (39%).

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