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November 18, 2018

Most Americans believe Obama is the best President ever

US President Barack Obama and President Uhuru Kenyatta hold a joint news conference after their meeting at the State House in Nairobi July 25, 2015. Photo/REUTERS
US President Barack Obama and President Uhuru Kenyatta hold a joint news conference after their meeting at the State House in Nairobi July 25, 2015. Photo/REUTERS

More Americans believe that Barack Obama did the best job as president during their lifetime, a new survey has revealed.

In a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of Americans said Obama was the best or second best president in their lifetime.

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About 33 percent selected Bill Clinton, while 32 percent chose Ronald Reagan as the most successful president.

And around 19 percent said Donald Trump, who is nearly half-way through his term, has done the best or second best job as president.

George W Bush took the fourth spot with 14 percent, while 12 percent of people said John F Kennedy was the best president of their lifetime.

About 10 percent of people selected Bush Senior as their favorite, while another four percent chose Jimmy Carter.

Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman, and FDR each were selected by one percent of the participants. Dwight Eisenhower received two percent.

The Pew Research Center questioned more than 2,000 adults, asking them in an open-ended format which president has done the best job in their lifetime.

They were also asked to provide their second choice.

Unsurprisingly, people's views of the best president of their lifetime was partially tied to their age.

Millennials, who were not alive before Reagan's presidency, were far more likely to pick Obama as the best president.

About 62 percent of millennials, who are aged 22 to 37, picked Obama as their first or second choice and 46 percent said he was the best.

Meanwhile, older generations were far more likely to name Reagan as one of the best presidents.

He was the top choice among Baby Boomers (aged 54 to 72), nabbing 42 percent of their vote, and was also the first pick among the Silent Generation (aged 73 to 90) with 38 percent.

About 15 percent or more in both generations selected either Obama, Kennedy, Clinton, or Trump.

Generation X (aged 38 to 53) were far more divided, with 45 percent picking Reagan, 41 percent choosing Obama, and 39 percent selecting Clinton.

Clinton was one of the top two presidents in 2011, when the survey was last conducted, with 49 percent selecting him as their first or second favorite.

About 34 percent of people selected Reagan in the survey and 20 percent chose Obama.

That means Obama's share has more than doubled in the last seven years, while Clinton's has fallen more than 15 percent.

Reagan, George W Bush, and Kennedy's ratings have remained fairly stagnant by comparison.

This year Democrats were nearly split down the middle when selecting their favorite president, with 51 percent choosing Obama and 49 percent selecting Clinton.

But Obama received a far larger share of the overall vote, with 71 percent in his party picking him for their first or second choice.

A majority of Republicans, about 57 percent, selected Reagan as their favorite president while 40 percent chose Trump.

Related: Obama’s Mandela lecture comes at auspicious time for democracy

Also read: What will be Obama's legacy for Africa?

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