Yahoo News/YouGov Poll: The greatest president in America

Linley SandersData Journalist
June 15, 2020, 7:30 PM UTC

President Donald Trump has often drawcomparisons between himself and another Republican president, Abraham Lincoln. A new Yahoo News/YouGov Poll indicates that a plurality of Americans do not view the leaders that similarly: 48 percent describe Lincoln as great while just 18 percent say the same for Trump. 

During a Fox News interview on FridayTrump reaffirmed the idea that he had accomplished more for black Americans than perhaps any American president besides Lincolnwho issued the Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves. Trump has also claimed he is treated worse by the media than Lincoln.

YouGov’s polling is clear, though. Americans are the most likely to consider Lincoln a great president (48%), followed by George Washington (40%), John F. Kennedy (31%), Franklin Roosevelt (31%), Barack Obama (27%), and Ronald Reagan (23%).  

President Trump is rated great by 18 percent of Americans. He is trailed in this metric by Dwight Eisenhower (18%), Jimmy Carter (14%), Bill Clinton (8%), and George W. Bush (7%).

Republicans are much more likely (47%) than Americans overall to describe Trump as great. Among his own party, he is only beaten by Washington (55%) and Lincoln (54%).  

Democrats rate Lincoln (54%) and Obama (53%) athe same level of greatness, followed by Roosevelt (44%), Kennedy (41%), and Washington (36%). Democrats are slightly more likely than Americans overall to rate Clinton (18%) and Carter (17%) as great. About three-fourths (74%) of Democrats call Trump a failure. 

Americans overall are more apt to call Trump a failure (43%) than great (18%). In contrast, one in five Americans (21%) describe Obama as a failure and fewer than half (46%) of Republicans do.

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Yahoo News/YouGov Poll  

MethodologyThe Yahoo! News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,570 U.S. adult residents interviewed online between June 9-10, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US residents. The margin of error is approximately 3.4%.  

Image: Getty