If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


40% Consider Reagan Most Influential President Of Last 50 Years

Americans continue to believe Ronald Reagan is the most influential president of the last half century, but they are a bit more divided over which president should be next in line to be honored by a federal holiday.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 40% regard Reagan as the most influential president of the past 50 years. Bill Clinton is a distant second with 16%, closely followed by John F. Kennedy with 14%. Barack Obama, who is making his first appearance in this question, comes in fourth with 11%. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Just five percent (5%) say Richard Nixon was most influential, followed by Lyndon B. Johnson (4%). Both Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush are seen as the most influential by three percent (3%), while just one percent (1%) see George H.W. Bush that way.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on February 15-16, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Want to read more?

Become a Rasmussen Reader to read the article

Have an account?

Log In

Become a Reader


Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.