55% Say Trump Worst President of Past Half Century, 16% Think He Was the Best

Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters nationwide rate Donald Trump as the worst president of the past half-century. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that Barack Obama came in a distant second at 25%, with no other recent president reaching double digits.

Obama topped the list as the best president of the half century–39% of voters hold that view. In second place on that list was Ronald Reagan at 22%. Sixteen percent (16%) of voters named Trump as the best.

The results highlight how deeply entrenched the partisan divide has become. Fifty percent (50%) of voters selected a Democrat as the best president while 49% selected a Republican.

On a net basis, Reagan came out on top. While 22% named him the best president of the past half century, just 1% said he was the worst. That gave him a net positive number of 21. Obama earned a positive 14 rating (39% best, 25% worst).

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Democrats consider Obama the best president of the past five decades. Republicans are divided–38% say it was Reagan and 33% Trump.

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Note: Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any affiliation with Rasmussen Reports. While Scott Rasmussen founded that firm, he left more than seven years ago and has had no involvement since that time.


The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen from January 17-19, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Respondents were contacted online through a process of Random Digital Engagement. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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