Happy Birthday, Abe: Gallup Finds Lincoln Now Tops Reagan as All-Time Best Prez

By: E&P Staff

Just in time for President’s Day, a new Gallup poll finds Abraham Lincoln now topping Ronald Reagan as the public’s idea of the greatest U.S. president ever.

John F. Kennedy edges Bill Clinton for the #3 spot, with Franklin D. Roosevelt coming in at number five. George Washington can do no better than sixth.

Gallup notes that respondents tend to favor presidents of later vintage.

Reagan had bested traditional leader Lincoln in the previous poll, in 2005, in the aftermath of the former’s death.

Eighteen percent of Americans today name Lincoln as the greatest U.S. president. He is closely followed by Reagan, with 16%, and John F. Kennedy, with 14%. Bill Clinton (13%) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (9%) round out the top five.

After Washington at #6 comes Truman at #7 and then a tie for #8 with Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Jefferson, Carter — and George W. Bush, all at 2%. Bush had stood at 5% two years ago.

The poll was taken February 9-11.

More from Gallup: Run, Al, Run? Support seems “lukewarm” for Gore anyway.

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