Being the most powerful man in the world is a tormenting job. One may say that with great power comes great responsibility even. Based purely on their approval rating and their popularity with the masses, how are the American presidents ranked? Read below to find out if your favorite is on this list.
Using data collected from Real Clear Politics and the Roper Center, we can now contour an approximate ranking for our presidents, past and present. We should make the mention that most of this data has become available in the past few decades, so some of the more obvious choices might be missing for this reason alone. Let’s get started.
#10 Barack Obama
- 44th President
- Average Approval Rating: 47.46%
Obama had to take the mantle of President under some really dire circumstances. It was the peak of the financial crisis and the USA had troops stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Despite all of that, Obama walked into the White House with an impressive approval rating. It dropped considerably around 2013 and started picking up again now when his term is coming to an end.
#9 George W. Bush
- 43rd President
- Average Approval Rating: 47.48%
After the dreadful 9/11 bombing, Bush’s popularity leaped, only for it to completely plummet in the months that followed after. Bush had to struggle with the intense warring issues and the Great Recession during his term and this took a considerable toll on his popularity.
#8 Richard Nixon
- 37th President
- Average Approval Rating: 49.89%
Nixon is a pretty interesting case of study. He entered presidency with a fairly high approval rating and throughout most of his term he really had the people on his side. Things took a violent turn for the worst after the Watergate Scandal broke out, leading to Nixon having the lowest exit approval rating of all presidents ranked on this list.
#7 Ronald Reagan
- 40th President
- Average Approval Rating: 52.84%
Reagan may only be seventh among all the presidents ranked by popularity, but his actual tenure is regarded as one of the best in US history. In fact, his popularity only dropped sometime in the 80s during a strong economic recession.
#6 Lyndon B. Johnson
- 36th President
- Average Approval Rating: 54.75%
Johnson had to relocate to the Oval Office after JFK’s tragic death and this in itself warranted a lot of civil popularity and sympathy. His popularity started declining once the Vietnam War and the civil unrest in America started acting up.
#5 Bill Clinton
- 42nd President
- Average Approval Rating: 54.8%
Clinton is a special case even among all of these presidents ranked by popularity. He’s one of the few situations where he left with a higher popularity than the one he’d started off his term on. Admittedly, it took a toll during his infamous scandals, but the fact still stands.
#4 George H.W. Bush
- 41st President
- Average Approval Rating: 60.1%
Bush was largely supported by the American public for his strong foreign policies. Militating for the end of the Cold War sat well with the population and, thus, Bush is the first among these presidents ranked to break the 60% approval rating.
#3 Franklin D. Roosevelt
- 32nd President
- Average Approval Rating: 64.49%
Roosevelt had a very difficult time during his term. He had to guide America through the Great Depression and World War II, yet he seemed to have succeeded. Out of his 12 years served as head of the country, only 7 of them were monitored for approval rating. It never dropped below 50%.
#2 Dwight D. Eisenhower
- 34th President
- Average Approval Rating: 64.9%
Eisenhower had one of the most stable approval rating average out of the presidents ranked on this list. His popularity was considerably higher during the first term, but at the end of the day he has almost as many people supporting him when he left as he did when he had stepped into the role.
#1 John F. Kennedy
- 35th President
- Average Approval Rating: 70.53%
During a mere 2 years at the White House, Kennedy managed to use his charisma, wits, and visionary ways to win a great portion of the population to his side. Needless to say, today, his popularity would be even bigger given his tragic end.