Trump better than Lincoln? Republicans think so

December 02, 2019, 6:45 PM GMT+0

Earlier this year, the actor Jon Voight tweeted a video calling Donald Trump the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln.

The latest Economist/YouGov poll finds many Republicans agree with Voight. A majority of Republicans (53%) think Trump is a better president than Abraham Lincoln.

But there is one GOP President since Lincoln whom Republicans rate higher than Trump: A majority (59%) of Republicans believe Ronald Reagan was a better president than the current incumbent.

The public overall overwhelmingly agrees that Reagan was a better President.

Americans, in general, aren’t anywhere near as enthusiastic as Republicans are about Donald Trump: his overall approval rating of 41% is less than half his 87% approval rating among Republicans, and fewer than half the public chooses President Trump when asked to choose between him and each of the GOP Presidents since the 1950s. When comparing Trump with Richard Nixon — the only President to have resigned from office — a majority of Americans, 56%, call Nixon the better President of the two. Even more say that about Dwight Eisenhower (69%), Gerald Ford (59%), George H.W.Bush (63%), and George W. Bush (62%).

But 86% of Republicans rank Trump higher than Nixon. And majorities of Republicans rank the current President above Eisenhower (65%), Ford (82%) and both Bushes (71% for each).

Asked to rank all six GOP post-war Presidents (along with Abraham Lincoln), half the public puts the current incumbent dead last. One in three Republicans rank him first, though a majority of them choose either Reagan or Lincoln as the best.

However, among Republicans, the Great Emancipator isn’t necessarily thought of as the better president. Half of Republicans go even further than Jon Voight, saying that President Trump is a better President than Lincoln. Most of the overall public disagrees.

Which Republicans rank Trump as better than Lincoln? There isn’t much difference by gender. 60% of Republicans who call themselves “very conservative” say Trump is the better President. Nearly the same percentage of Republicans without a college degree agree.

However, there is a clear regional difference: 62% of Republicans in the South say Trump is the better President; 38% pick Lincoln. Those in all other regions are more likely to give credit to Lincoln. 54% of Republicans outside the South say Lincoln was better. Perhaps for some, Abraham Lincoln’s leadership during the Civil War, against the southern Confederacy, is still remembered, and perhaps resented.

Related: Americans have followed the impeachment hearings but few minds have changed

See the full survey results and toplines from The Economist/YouGov poll

Image: Getty