Here are the Gallup Poll results for the top seven choices for the greatest US Presidents.
Feb 7-10, 2005
Ronald Reagan 20
Bill Clinton 15
Abraham Lincoln 14
Franklin D. Roosevelt 12
John F. Kennedy 12
George W. Bush 5
George Washington 5
Reaching voting age seems to have had the greatest effect on the choices of the respondents (aside from Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Bush, obviously).
There are interesting and significant differences in choice of greatest U.S. president by age, with Americans tending to select a leader from the formative years of their generation.The racial breakdown of the respondents’ choices would probably be an interesting dynamic to analyze.
Clinton is the top choice among 18- to 29-year-olds, while Reagan scores highest for those aged 30 to 49, Kennedy for those aged 50 to 64, and Franklin D. Roosevelt for those aged 65 and older.
These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,008 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Feb. 7-10, 2005. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is ±3 percentage points.
UPDATE: Oh yeah. I'll have a post for each of the top seven, not necessarily in the order of their popularity in the poll. (Don't be skerred, Clinton fans. It'll be non-partisan. I promise.) :-)