Americans Believe Barack Obama Was Their ‘Best President’, According To Study

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 13 Jul 2018 18:34
Barack ObamaBarack ObamaGetty

Barack Obama has come out on top of a recent survey which asked Americans who they believe did the best job as president during their lifetime.


The new survey conducted by the Pew Research Centre found 44 per cent of the people asked thought Obama was the best president, followed by Bill Clinton with 33 per cent, and Ronald Reagan with 32 per cent.

Current president Donald Trump came fourth in the survey, with 19 per cent saying he’s done the best job. Then again, Trump isn’t even halfway through his term as president, so that number will probably go one of two ways.

The survey, conducted in June this year, asked over 2,000 American adults in an open-ended format which president has done the best job in their lifetimes.


Of course, a person’s view of the best president of their lifetime will partly be tied to their age. Millennials, who are currently aged between 22 and 37, are more likely to name Obama, while older generations are much more likely to name Reagan, who was president before many Millennials were born.

Meanwhile, Generation X, aged 38 to 53, are more likely to split themselves between Reagan, Clinton and Obama, with Baby Boomers, aged 54 to 72, siding with Reagan.

You can probably guess which generation I fall into. As the current president visits the UK to welcomes of giant floating babies, protest marches and political turmoil, the atmosphere surrounding him is far cry from the rejuvenated sense of hope that Obama brought. Though Obama had his fair share of critics too, the outcry against Trump is much more vocal and widespread.

Bill and Hillary ClintonBill and Hillary ClintonPA

Back in 2011, Clinton came out on top with 49 per cent of the vote. However, the group of people naming Obama as best president has more than doubled since 2011, from 20 per cent to 44 per cent, while the share mentioning Clinton has declined to 33 per cent.

Unsurprisingly, the votes were split between parties. Democrats mostly voted between Obama and Clinton, with Obama coming out on top, and Republicans voting mainly for Reagan or Trump, though Reagan came out as favourite.

Last year, Barack Obama was voted ‘Most Admired Man In The World’ for the tenth year in a row.


The 44th president was voted the top spot in the Gallup poll, with current president Trump, amazingly, in second place.

The poll also found that Trump’s former rival Hillary Clinton was voted as the world’s most admirable woman, beating out former First Lady Michelle Obama. Which is quite telling seeing as during 2016’s heated presidential election Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College vote, leading to the Trump presidency.

Gallup News noted:

[The survey] marks the 16th consecutive year Clinton has been the most admired woman.

While it also pointed out:

Obama has now been named the most admired man 10 times, trailing only Dwight Eisenhower, who earned the distinction 12 times. Obama won all eight years he was president, plus 2008 — the year he was first elected — and this year, his first as a former president.

Come on Obama, let’s go for the record.

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: Life


Pew Research Centre and 1 other
  1. Pew Research Centre

    Obama Tops Public’s List of Best President in Their Lifetime, Followed by Clinton, Reagan

  2. Gallup

    Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton Retain Most Admired Titles