Americans choose Obama as best president in their lifetime, survey says

Millennials aged 22 to 37 overwhelmingly backed the 44th president

Kimberley Richards
New York
Thursday 12 July 2018 23:37 BST
Former president Barack Obama
Former president Barack Obama (REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)

Barack Obama is the best president in their lifetime for nearly half of Americans, according to a new survey.

A Pew Research Center survey asked participants to reveal who they believe has done the best job and second best job in the executive office in their lifetimes; apparently the 44th president topped the list, with 44 per cent of Americans backing Mr Obama. Former presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan followed in popularity with 33 per cent and 32 per cent choosing them respectively.

Donald Trump, who has previously said his approval ratings were higher than Mr Obama’s, came in fourth with 19 per cent saying he has done the best or second best job in office thus far.

The survey results are based on responses from 2,002 adults who were asked last month to choose the best presidents. The results suggested that varying demographics were factors in the responses.

According to the survey, 62 per cent of millennial participants, aged 22 to 37, overwhelmingly chose Mr Obama as their first and second choices for best president, with 46 per cent of them naming him as their first. A majority of participants in older generations like Gen X, Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation chose Ronald Reagan – though their responses were more evenly spread than the millennials.

Furthermore, partisan views also appeared to be a factor in the survey results. The majority of participants who reported to be Democrats or Democratic-leaning Independents chose Mr Obama. Seventy-one per cent said Mr Obama had done the best job while 49 per cent chose Mr Clinton. Likewise, 57 per cent of Republicans or Republican-leaning Independents chose Mr Reagan followed by 40 per cent choosing Mr Trump.

Interestingly, time had also appeared to be a factor in the responses. The Pew Research Center compared previous survey results in 2011 where 49 percent of participants chose Mr Clinton compared to 20 per cent who chose Mr Obama. The ratings of other presidents, including Mr Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy had not varied much.

According to a Gallup poll published in February, 63 per cent of Americans reported to have approved of the way Mr. Obama handled his job as president in a retrospective approval rating poll.

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