Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Ronald Reagan is No Longer The Worst Rated President...
...that is to say, Reagan no longer has the lowest approval rating of those presidents who served two full terms. George W's rating of 30% makes him only better than Nixon since polling data began during the Truman years.
Which brings me to a common myth thrown in our face about the popularity of Ronald Reagan. You see, when he died, The Mainstream Media (MSM) kept telling us how he was the most popular president in modern times at the time he left office with an approval rating of 57%.
Note the italics.
They had to quantify it with these words to give Reagan the most popular rating. If they said since the beginning of poll taking you would have to include Eisenhower, who left office with an approval rating of 59%. So I guess for the Reagan worshippers, Modern times didn't start until after 1964.
They also said he was the most popular president at the time he left office in 1989. This would then not include Clinton who had an approval rating of 63% when he left office in 2001.
So that would put Reagan in third place in popularity since polling data began during the Truman years. Let's look at the data...
Harry Truman had an approval rating of 31% when he left office. He knew he wouldn't win the 1952 election and chose not to run.
Dwight Eisenhower left office with a 59% approval rating.
John Kennedy was assassinated, you can't get a fair approval rating after he left because of martyrdom.
Lyndon Johnson screwed up in Vietnam, so much so that he didn't run in 1968. His approval rating was 45%
Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace and his approval rating was 24%
Gerald Ford wasn't elected, even as vice president, lost the 1976 race and still, his approval rating was 52%, a mere 5% points down from Reagan.
Jimmy Carter lost re-election and left office with a 33% rating.
George Bush Sr. followed Reagan, lost re-election and left with an approval rating of 49%.
Bill Clinton left with his 63% approval rating
and now George Bush Jr leaves with his 30% approval rating giving him the worst rating of those who served two full terms.
So, until yesterday Reagan was only ahead of those who lost re-elections, died in office, resigned in disgrace and those who chose not to run for re-election.
In my book that's last place for Reagan.
And Bush basically was Reagan without a strong Democratic Congress to challenge him. Thus Reagan's legacy takes another hit. I don't think the MSM will see it that way.
Now some polls had Reagan ahead of Eisenhower but all had him behind Clinton.
Bush can always cling on to the fact that he had the highest approval rating at 92%. Of course that was when 3 thousand people died. We like it when that happens, I guess. Still, I did get polled on the 14th of September 2001 and I guess I was in the 8%.