Poll Ranks Obama as Worst President Since WWII

Poll Ranks Obama as Worst President Since WWII

By Adam O'Neal - July 2, 2014

A new survey assessing the popularity of modern presidents contains plenty of surprises -- and bad news for the Oval Office’s current occupant. 

Barack Obama ranks as the worst president since World War II, according to a new Quinnipiac University survey. He received 33 percent backing for that dubious distinction; George W. Bush trails Obama by just five percentage points, with 28 percent of respondents saying he is the worst.

“Over the span of 69 years of American history and 12 presidencies, President Barack Obama finds himself with President George W. Bush at the bottom of the popularity barrel,” said Quinnipiac University’s Tim Malloy. 

Meanwhile, 35 percent said Ronald Reagan was the best commander-in-chief since the 1940s. His closest competitors -- Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy -- received 18 percent and 15 percent of the vote, respectively. Obama is a distant fourth, and the younger Bush received just 1 percent. 

Forty percent of voters believe that Bush was a better president than Obama has been so far, while 39 percent say the opposite. There appears to be a gender divide: 42 percent of women say Obama is better, while 43 percent of men prefer Bush. 

Voters may have some regret over their 2012 vote: 45 percent believe the country would be better off with Mitt Romney as president; 38 percent say otherwise. 

The survey also considered the more immediate state of Obama’s presidency. Forty percent of respondents approve of the way he is handling his job, while 52 percent don’t. Though Americans are evenly divided over whether he is trustworthy, a majority believe that “he cares about their needs and problems.” 

The president has underwater approval ratings for his handling of the economy, foreign policy, health care, and even terrorism. Most voters approve of his handling of the environment. 

The nationwide survey of 1,446 registered voters was conducted June 24-30 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

Adam O'Neal is a political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @RealClearAdam.

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