C-SPAN ranks Donald Trump near bottom of effective presidents list

National

FILE – In this June 1, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump holds a Bible as he visits outside St. John’s Church across Lafayette Park from the White House in Washington. An internal investigation has determined that the decision to clear racial justice protestors from an area in front of the White House last summer was not influenced by then-President Donald Trump’s plans for a photo opportunity at that spot. The report released Wednesday by the Department of Interior’s Inspector General concludes that the protestors were cleared by U.S. Park Police on June 1 of last year so new fencing could be installed. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — C-SPAN’s Presidential Historians Survey 2021 has ranked former President Donald Trump near the bottom of a list of presidents ranked by effectiveness.

Trump was ranked number 41 in the list but shared the same score as President Franklin Pierce with a score of 312. Pierce is known for signing the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed territories to determine whether they would legalize slavery upon their application for statehood.

In contrast, the survey ranks several notable presidents in the top 10, including Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, both Roosevelts, Ronald Reagan, and Trump’s predecessor and the first black president, Barack Obama. Lincoln’s reputation has remained the strongest, having been ranked number 1 since the first Presidential Historians Survey in 2000.

PresidentFinal ScoreOverall Rankings by Score
Abraham Lincoln8971
George Washington8512
Franklin D. Roosevelt8413
Theodore Roosevelt7854
Dwight D. Eisenhower7345
Harry S. Truman7136
Thomas Jefferson7047
John F. Kennedy6998
Ronald Reagan6819
Barack Obama66410
Lyndon B. Johnson65411
James Monroe64312
Woodrow Wilson61713
William McKinley61214
John Adams60915
James Madison60416
John Quincy Adams60317
James K. Polk59918
William J. Clinton59419
Ulysses S. Grant59020
George H. W. Bush58521
Andrew Jackson56822
William Howard Taft54323
Calvin Coolidge53524
Grover Cleveland52325
Jimmy Carter50626
James A. Garfield50627
Gerald R. Ford49828
George W. Bush49529
Chester A. Arthur47230
Richard M. Nixon46431
Benjamin Harrison46232
Rutherford B. Hayes45633
Martin Van Buren45534
Zachary Taylor44935
Herbert Hoover39636
Warren G. Harding38837
Millard Fillmore37838
John Tyler35439
William Henry Harrison35440
Donald J. Trump31241
Franklin Pierce31242
Andrew Johnson23043
James Buchanan22744
Rankings by the C-SPAN Presidential Historians Survey 2021

The Historians Survey took input from 142 historians, professors, and observers of the presidency who ranked the presidents from one (not effective) to 10 (very effective) on 10 qualities. These included public persuasion, crisis leadership, economic management, moral authority, international relations, administrative skills, relations with Congress, vision/setting an agenda, “pursued equal justice for all,” and performance within context of times.

The responses were then averaged in their given categories and contributed to the presidents’ final scores.

The survey showed that Trump’s worst categories were moral authority and international relations, with him being ranked dead last among the 44 presidents included in the survey.


(Note: While Donald Trump is known as the 45th president, he is the 44th person to hold the office. This is because of Grover Cleveland’s two non-consecutive’ terms that make him the 22nd and 24th president.

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