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.
|President||Final Score||Overall Rankings by Score|
|Franklin D. Roosevelt||841||3|
|Dwight D. Eisenhower||734||5|
|Harry S. Truman||713||6|
|John F. Kennedy||699||8|
|Lyndon B. Johnson||654||11|
|John Quincy Adams||603||17|
|James K. Polk||599||18|
|William J. Clinton||594||19|
|Ulysses S. Grant||590||20|
|George H. W. Bush||585||21|
|William Howard Taft||543||23|
|James A. Garfield||506||27|
|Gerald R. Ford||498||28|
|George W. Bush||495||29|
|Chester A. Arthur||472||30|
|Richard M. Nixon||464||31|
|Rutherford B. Hayes||456||33|
|Martin Van Buren||455||34|
|Warren G. Harding||388||37|
|William Henry Harrison||354||40|
|Donald J. Trump||312||41|
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.