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Americans Say Reagan Is Greatest President, Poll Finds

4 years ago
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Number 40 is No. 1. Just in time for Presidents Day, Ronald Reagan tops a list of the nation's greatest chief executives, ahead of Abraham Lincoln, according to a new survey out Friday.

The Gallup Poll puts Reagan, with 19 percent, in the top spot for the third time. Reagan also occupied the position in 2001 and 2005 -- and he has been in the top three eight times since Gallup started asking the "greatest president" question 12 years ago.

Lincoln garnered 14 percent, followed very closely by Bill Clinton, with 13 percent.

John F. Kennedy, who was on top in 2000 and tied with Lincoln in 2003, came in fourth this year.

The country's first president, George Washington, is fifth on the list.

Gallup said respondents are more likely to mention recent office-holders because "the average American constantly hears about and from presidents in office during their lifetime, and comparatively little about historical presidents long dead."

Four of the five most recent presidents are in the top ten this year: Obama (No. 7), George W. Bush (No. 10), Clinton, and Reagan.

Not surprisingly, the results break along partisan lines, with Democrats and Republicans each most likely to choose a greatest president within their own party.

Independents name Lincoln and then Reagan as top choices.

Read the complete Gallup results here.
Filed Under: Polls, Poll Watch, White House
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