RANKED: The greatest US presidents, according to political scientists

Presidential rankings tend to be subjective and divisive, but they also provide valuable insight into how historical views of presidents evolve over time.

In a recent survey, nearly 200 political science scholars ranked US presidents on a scale of 0-100, from failure (zero) to average (50) to great (100). The totals were then averaged for each president and ranked from highest to lowest.

A majority of the 170 respondents – roughly 57% – identified as Democrats. Just 13% were Republicans, while 27% said they were independents, and 3% selected other. The skewed sampling plus the fact that President Donald Trump is in the middle of his second year in office make it difficult to accurately compare him to previous presidents.

But even among Republicans, Trump was ranked quite unfavorably. Respondents who identified as Republicans or conservatives ranked Trump 40th out of 44 presidents. Self-described Democrats and liberals both ranked him last.

Here are the greatest US presidents, ranked according to current and recent members of the American Political Science Association:


44: Donald Trump


43: James Buchanan


42: William Harrison


41: Franklin Pierce

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40: Andrew Johnson


39: Warren Harding


38: Millard Fillmore

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37: John Tyler


36: Herbert Hoover


35: Zachary Taylor

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34: James Garfield


33: Richard Nixon


32: Benjamin Harrison


31: Chester Arthur


30: George W. Bush


29: Rutherford B. Hayes


28: Calvin Coolidge


27: Martin Van Buren


26: Jimmy Carter


25: Gerald Ford


24: Grover Cleveland


23: John Quincy Adams


22: William Howard Taft

Archive Photos/Getty

21: Ulysses S. Grant


20: James Polk


19: William McKinley


18: James Monroe


17: George H.W. Bush


16: John F. Kennedy


15: Andrew Jackson


14: John Adams

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13: Bill Clinton


12: James Madison


11: Woodrow Wilson


10: Lyndon B. Johnson


9: Ronald Reagan


8: Barack Obama


7: Dwight Eisenhower


6: Harry Truman


5: Thomas Jefferson


4: Teddy Roosevelt


3: Franklin Delano Roosevelt


2: George Washington


1: Abraham Lincoln

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