You Will Not Believe Where Trump Ranks In New Presidential Survey
Published : February 27, 2018
According to the official results of the 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey, President Trump is ranked as the worst president in United States history. Professors Brandon Rottinghaus and Justin S. Vaughn recently published their findings in a New York Times column, in which they described data collected from 170 of 320 respondents (53.1% response rate) sought to rank all 44 presidents.
Ranking the presidents were current and recent members of the Presidents & Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA), which is the foremost organization of social science experts in presidential politics. The respondents were asked to rank each president on a scale of 0-100, with 0 being a complete failure and 100 being great. The subjective terms were not defined.
With an average score of 12.34 out of 100, President Trump ranked at the bottom of the list. Meanwhile, Abraham Lincoln was rated a 95.03, which edged out George Washington's score of 92.59. Franklin Delano Roosevelt rounded out the top three with a score of 89.09.
To better understand biases present in this study, the researchers asked respondents two questions: which party they identify with politically and how they identify ideologically. "The results showed that 57.2% (95/166) of respondents were Democrats, while 12.7% were Republicans (21/166), 27.1% were Independents (45/166), and 3% (5/166) selected Other as their option," the authors stated. On a Likert-style scale, respondents self-identified as one of five choices ideologically. Based on the choices, more than 58% percent of the respondents were on the liberal side, 24% are moderate, and just 17% identify on the conservative side.
When these two factors are considered, it becomes clearer as to how the current Republican president was harshly rated, while his predecessor Barack Obama jumped 10 spots in the survey since it was last conducted four years ago, putting him one spot ahead of Ronald Reagan. President Obama's ranking altered the most of any president, moving from 18th, all the way to 8th. This moved him into being a top 10 president. It is important to note that the survey is done once every four years, which means President Obama's initial ranking was determined well into his second term. Meanwhile President Trump has had one year in office.
Immediately ahead of President Trump are Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan, who helped push the country into the Civil War, Andrew Johnson, who was impeached and one vote away from being convicted, and William Henry Harrison, who died in office after one month. How these men make better presidents than President Trump is left to the imagination of the respondents.
In his first year of presidency, President Trump assisted Republicans in passing significant tax reform, which encouraged American companies to bring their businesses back home. Black unemployment is at its lowest and illegal immigration is down. He moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, and we have not heard as much from ISIS because they are on the run.
Whether or not President Trump is the worst is yet to be determined. When you judge his ranking based on one year in office you are prematurely marking his position. This is the same reason why a football game is not called after the first quarter. There are still three quarters to go, or in President Trump's case, at least three more years in office to establish his legacy. When we serve as judge and jury before the evidence is fully gathered, we cut off the possibility of him becoming a great president, and that is an attitude that is detrimental to us all.