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Ronald Reagan voted best recent US president

But who do you think ranked last in the poll of how favourably presidents from Nixon to Obama would be remembered?

President Reagan and his wife Nancy during their 1984 trip to Ireland.
President Reagan and his wife Nancy during their 1984 trip to Ireland.
Image: AP Photo/Ron Edmunds/PA Images

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT Ronald Reagan has come out on top in a recent poll of how favourably Americans believe their presidents will be remembered.

The former actor became the country’s 40th president when elected to the White House in 1980 and he served two terms. He was succeeded by his vice-president George H W Bush – who ranked third in the Gallup poll.

President Bill Clinton was second-placed in the poll with a net rating of 48 points (Reagan scored 59 points), while George H W Bush scored 15 points.

The top two presidents served two terms in office, and the fourth man on the list – Barack Obama, with 3 points – is currently seeking his second term. The results showed that almost equal percentages of people thought he would be viewed unfavourably as thought he would be viewed favourably.

Meanwhile, George W Bush finished second last in the poll of US presidents from Nixon to Obama, with a score of -22 points. Nixon, who resigned during his second term over the Watergate scandal in 1974, finished bottom of the table on -41 points.

In the last such Gallup poll (taken in January 2009), George W Bush had ranked below Nixon.

Gallup says that the results showed a partisan bias overall: “Democrats tend to believe history will judge Democratic presidents more favourably than Republicans do, and Republicans believe Republican presidents will be regarded more favorably than Democrats do.”

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