Presidents' Day poll: Washington still wins popularity contest

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George Washington by John Trumbull

Public Policy Polling surveyed U.S. voters on presidents and popularity and found that of the 43 men to hold the job the first remains the most popular.

The pollsters found that 89 percent of voters see George Washington favorably, and only 3 percent see him unfavorably. He is followed in the top 10 by:

2. Abraham Lincoln (85-7).

3. Thomas Jefferson (74-6).

4. Teddy Roosevelt (66-9).

5. John Adams (55-9).

6 and 7. Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower (each 62-11).

8. John F. Kennedy (70-21).

9. John Quincy Adams (52-7).

10. Franklin D. Roosevelt (62-22).

Of recent presidents, Ronald Reagan is 14th most popular (62-30), Gerald Ford is 16th (49-28), Bill Clinton is 17th (54-38), George H.W. Bush is 19th (51-42) and Jimmy Carter tied for 29th (44-44).

The least popular president by far is Richard Nixon (27-59), followed by Lyndon B. Johnson (34-42), Warren Harding (12-19), Millard Fillmore (7-12), Herbert Hoover (25-29), Calvin Coolidge (18-22), Barack Obama (46-49), Chester Arthur (10-13), Martin Van Buren (13-15), James Buchanan (11-13) and George W. Bush (45-46).

Republicans, according to PPP, object to Obama more than any other demographic group dislikes any of the other presidents (12-84).

Democrats’ feelings on the Bushes and Reagan and Nixon don't even come close. 

Kennedy and Washington are the most popular among Democrats.

Among Republicans, Reagan comes close to Washington.

The biggest gender gap is for Carter, whom women see 23 points more positively than do men, followed by Nixon, who is viewed 21 points better by men than women.

Obama has a gender gap of 13 points, Clinton of 11 and LBJ of 10.

Lauded more for his post-presidency than his presidency, Carter also places near the top in the age gap between those under 30 and those over 65, seen 25 points better by voters who weren't born during his time in the White House than senior citizens who were in their mid-30s or older when he left office.

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