Chimpy Grapples With Nixon For Worst President Title

Nixon surpasses Bush in the race for the highest negative rating while Chimpy is the King of Failed Presidents in the latest Zogby’s Presidential Greatness poll.

Franklin D. Roosevelt is back on top of the list of the greatest presidents of the modern era, returning to the highest ranking after Kennedy displaced him in last year’s survey, a new nationwide Zogby International telephone poll shows. Roosevelt has dominated Zogby’s Presidential Greatness survey since 1997 – only losing out to Kennedy in 2006 and 2002.

Roosevelt was rated “great” or “near great” by 78% of those surveyed, while 74% said they feel the same way about Kennedy. Both Roosevelt and Kennedy experienced slightly higher greatness rankings in this year’s poll – 71% ranked Roosevelt as great or near great last year compared to 73% who said they felt the same about Kennedy. The Zogby survey of 843 likely voters took place January 5-9, 2007, and contains a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.

George W. Bush, who continues to struggle with dwindling job-performance numbers, trails Nixon as the modern president with the highest negative ranking – 50% of those surveyed place the current president at the low end of the scale compared to 40% who felt the same last year. Even though Nixon has the greatest overall negative rating (57%), Bush beats him out on the failure scale – 30% say Bush is a failure as a president, compared to 23% who feel that way about Nixon. Just 21% rated Bush as a great or near great president this year – those numbers have fallen steadily since his all-time high greatness rating of 63% in 2002, following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


Among living presidents, Bill Clinton continues to be ranked highest at 44% — while the other three trail behind on the greatness scale at 31% for Jimmy Carter, 29% for George H.W. Bush and just 21% for George W. Bush.