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Clinton continues to drop in retrospective poll data. Only Nixon lower.
Gallup News Service | 04.08.02 | Frank Newport

Posted on 04/08/2002 7:45:57 AM PDT by meandog

April 8, 2002

Clinton's Retrospective Job Approval at 51% Reagan, Carter, Ford and Kennedy are seen in more positive light now than while in office; Nixon's and Johnson's retrospective ratings are worse

by Frank Newport

PRINCETON, NJ -- John F. Kennedy continues to have the highest retrospective job-approval rating of any of the last eight presidents, followed by Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson have the lowest retrospective approval ratings. Bill Clinton -- measured for the first time since leaving office -- ranks only sixth. Clinton’s retrospective approval rating is slightly lower than his overall average while he was in office, and considerably lower than his average over his second term, between 1997 and 2001.

These ratings are based on a question that asks Americans to indicate whether -- in retrospect -- they approve or disapprove of the way a president handled his job while he was in office.

The spread in these ratings is quite wide, as can be seen. More than eight out of 10 Americans say they approve of the way John F. Kennedy handled the presidency, while at the other end of the spectrum, only about a third say they approve of how the office was handled by Richard Nixon.

We can classify the last eight presidents into categories based on how the public sees them now:


Number One: JFK;
Highly Regarded: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush
Above Average: Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter;
Average: Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson;
Below Average: Richard Nixon

Five of the last eight presidents now have more positive approval ratings than they did while in office.

The biggest increase occurs with Ronald Reagan, who was in office between 1981 and 1989. Reagan’s average job-approval rating while in office -- 53% -- was only mid-range. (Reagan averaged 50% in his first term and 55% in his second term.) Now, looking back, a resounding 73% of Americans say they approve of how he handled his job while president -- a 20 percentage-point jump.

Two other presidents who did not do particularly well in terms of approval ratings while in office have seen a significant rise in their ratings over time. Jimmy Carter averaged only 45% while in office, but looking back, 60% of Americans now say they approve of how he handled his job. Similarly, Gerald Ford averaged only 47% during his brief tenure in office, between August 1974 and January 1977, but he now gets a 60% retrospective approval rating.

John Kennedy represents a slightly different situation. Kennedy already had the highest average job-approval rating of any president Gallup has measured (going back to Franklin D. Roosevelt), at 70%. But the passage of time has been even more kind to Kennedy, and in retrospect, an extraordinary 83% of Americans say they approve of how he handled his 1,000 days in office, between January 1961 and November 1963.

Bush the elder’s average while in office is the second highest of any of these last eight presidents -- 61% -- despite the fact that his ratings were on a downslide in his last year and he lost his bid for re-election to Bill Clinton in 1992. Now, in retrospect, Bush gets a 69% approval rating.

The biggest downturns in public opinion have occurred in the retrospective job-approval ratings for Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. Both men did well in their first terms in office -- Johnson getting an extraordinary 74% average from the time when he took office following JFK’s assassination in November 1963 to his inauguration for a second term in January 1965. Nixon averaged 56% in his first term and was overwhelmingly re-elected in 1972 over Democratic candidate George McGovern.

But both men saw their approval ratings plummet. Johnson fell victim to national discontent over his Vietnam policies, and by the time he left office in January 1969, his overall average across all of his time in office had fallen to just 55%. (Johnson averaged only 42% for his last year in office.) It is apparent that this more negative side of his presidency is what is remembered now; Johnson gets only a 39% retrospective approval rating, a drop of 16 percentage points from his term average, and about the same as he received in his last year.

Richard Nixon’s ratings fell to only a 34% average in the year and a half of his second term, before he resigned in August 1974 because of the escalating Watergate scandal. His overall rating for his entire term in office was only 49%. Despite Nixon’s efforts to restore his reputation in the years between 1969 and his death in 1994, only 34% of Americans now, in retrospect, say they approve of how he handled his job, while 54% say they disapprove. (This 34% is, however, higher than the extremely low 25% average Nixon received in his last eight months in office in 1974.)

This brings us to Bill Clinton. Clinton averaged a 55% job-approval rating over his eight years in office between January 1993 and January 2001. Although it would be easy to assume that Clinton’s ratings were worst in his last years in office -- as he became embroiled in the Monica Lewinsky scandal and became only the second president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House of Representatives -- the reverse is true. His second-term job-approval average was actually quite a bit higher than that of his first term. He averaged only 50% in his first term -- beset in large part by the woes of the economy. Bolstered by a robust economy in his second term, Clinton averaged 61% from 1997-2001. Clinton’s overall average of 55% is slightly above the averages of Presidents Reagan, Carter, Ford, and Nixon, and is tied with Johnson’s.

There is a great deal of interest in how history is going to view Bill Clinton. Will he be judged more on the years of prosperity and relative international peace that occurred during his term, or will his personal failings, the impeachment and other scandals dominate his legacy? Our first indication from the public does little to suggest that Clinton’s image has become more positive in the 14 months since he left office. Just 51% of Americans now say they approve of the job Clinton did while in office, and a substantial 47% say they disapprove (the second-highest disapproval rating, behind only Nixon’s). This marks a drop from the higher ratings he was receiving as he left office, and a slight drop even from his overall two-term average.

Who remembers Clinton most fondly? The divisions in this retrospective approval are very similar to those found while he was in office. Democrats and nonwhites are his strongest supporters, as are younger Americans. The groups least likely to say they approve are -- not surprisingly -- Republicans, those living in the Midwest, older Americans and whites.

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,009 adults, 18 years and older, conducted March 18-20, 2002. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

From what you have heard, read, or remember about some of our past presidents, please tell me if you approve or disapprove of the way each of the following handled their job as president. (SEE RESPONSE BELOW)

TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: clinton; polls
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To: cajungirl
I agree with your hubby
if there is such a thing as anti-christ, billclinton is it
he is the Great Deceiver
he substituted illusion for truth
his emotional range is from suspiciousness to viciousness
it is wonderful miracle our citizens saw through him, and got him out of power
Love, Palo
41 posted on 04/08/2002 11:08:45 AM PDT by palo verde
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To: WyldKard
Although I will grant that not commiting the dead, but trying to cover it up isn't nearly as ethically reprehensible as actually comitting the deed AND trying to cover it up.

...the difference between Clinton and Nixon--but look who ended up with the short end of history's stick!

42 posted on 04/08/2002 11:12:41 AM PDT by meandog
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To: concerned about politics
I liked your rant at 18. Hope you don't think I was serious at 5. It was my feeble attempt at sarcasm, of course.
43 posted on 04/08/2002 11:15:46 AM PDT by leadpenny
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To: texasbluebell
hi texasbluebell
perceptive posts
we were able to remove huge power invested in President from him and turn it over to George W
but he is Head of Dem Party
Dems in Congress still carry out all his whims
media remains in thrall to him
his mischief making continues behind the scenes now
we are safe from his trouble-making, but not free from it
Love, Palo
44 posted on 04/08/2002 11:23:57 AM PDT by palo verde
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To: meandog
if only billclinton were history
he continues to rule Dems in Congress with iron fist
he architected the Jeffords coup
he is still looking out for gangster interests
and won't let Judiciary Committee approve President Bush's appointment of honest federal judges
Love, Palo

you are right to say clinton and Nixon do not belong is same breath
45 posted on 04/08/2002 11:36:55 AM PDT by palo verde
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To: dts32041
" Bay of Pigs, Berlin Wall, Cuban Missle crises, Bang your dead."

Okay. One at a time, summing up:

Bay of Pigs = sellout of the Cuban patriots

Berlin Wall = self-serving posturing (don't recall HIM telling Krushchev, "Mr. Kruschev, tear down this wall!" Let's see, what did he say again -- "Ich bin eine grandstander?")

Cuban Missile Crisis = "No choice -- we've been outmaneuvered and we're nailed, either way. We have to call their bluff, and pray that they blink." Lucky choice.

Bang, you're dead. Despite all the Camelot crap during and since the Kennedy administration, he was not during his lifetime an effective or popular president. The mindless fawned over Jackie's preoccupation with fashion and being the American queen, and even we conservatives thought the Kennedy kids were cute, but it was Johnson who rammed through all the horrendously expensive legislation Kennedy tried to get enacted, (education, Great Society, Viet Nam War) but could not. Arguably, had he not been assassinated, we'd be less far down the road of socialism than we are now.

46 posted on 04/08/2002 12:03:25 PM PDT by MI_too
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To: dts32041
Now what was so great about [Kennedy's "accomplishments"]

You forgot that he made it mandatory for federal employees to join a union, inspired Bill Clinton, got us more involved in Vietnam.

In his defense, and the his real legacy (which p!sses off his daughter) is his tax cuts. The downside of all that
revenue pouring in to the Treasury was the "Great Society".

Still, all these Kennedy worshippers fail to realize that he was not in office long enough to really do anything to
receive the adoration that he does.

47 posted on 04/08/2002 12:05:01 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: concerned about politics
There's such an evil air surrounding this man and his wife. It's like Stan is protecting them for the bigger job he has planned

So HE'S behind all this. Ever since I started watching Southpark I've thought there was something a little suspicious about him. I'll betchya he even had Kenny killed off.

48 posted on 04/08/2002 12:11:50 PM PDT by murdoog
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To: concerned about politics
The other day, while watching Sunday news programs, he brought up Clintons name. All he said was "the more I hear, the more I'm beginning to thing Clinton is the real anti-Christ." I've been posting that same feeling on FR, but never mentioned it to him. He saw it for himself.

I used to think Bill Clinton was the antichrist, but I've since rejected the idea. There's just too many people who are not taken in by him.I still think there might be something to the notion he had a pact with the devil. That would sure explain why the economy was so good during his tenure.

49 posted on 04/08/2002 12:18:31 PM PDT by murdoog
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To: aristeides
There is a great deal of interest in how history is going to view Bill Clinton...Our first indication from the public does little to suggest that Clinton's image has become more positive in the 14 months since he left office. Just 51% of Americans now say they approve of the job Clinton did while in office, and a substantial 47% say they disapprove (the second-highest disapproval rating, behind only Nixon's). This marks a drop from the higher ratings he was receiving as he left office, and a slight drop even from his overall two-term average.

Clinton continues to drop in retrospective poll data. Only Nixon lower.

Gallup News Service

Thanx for the heads up. Notwithstanding 9/11, the following C-SPAN finding applies.
Note especially historian Douglas Brinkley's comment...

A C-SPAN survey of 58 U.S. historians has concluded that Bill Clinton is the president with the lowest 'moral authority' -- beating out Richard Nixon for last place, Monday's NEW YORK TIMES is set report.



clinton's ranking will likely get worse over time. Economic issues fade in importance over time. Moral issues presist and grow. (paraphrase)

------Douglas Brinkley, history prof., on Washington J. discussing C-SPAN poll  


I think that history will view this much differently. They will say I made a bad personal mistake, I paid a serious price for it, but that I was right to stand and fight for my country and my constitution and its principles...

-----the First Psychopath


...[bill clinton], a man who will be regarded in the history books as one of our greatest presidents.

-----Al Gore at clinton's post-impeachment rally


It is not the strength but the duration of great sentiments that makes great men.



I suspect that, to spite us all,
Arthur Schlesinger will live to 120
just so he can write
the definitive clinton hagiography.

--------Mia T, Musings: Senatorial Courtesy Perverted

History Lesson
by Mia T
Someone--was it Maupassant?--
once called history "that excitable and lying old lady."
The same can be said of historians.
Surely it can be said of Doris Kearns Goodwin,
the archetypical pharisaical historian,
not-so-latently clintonoid,
(i.e., clinton is an unfit president;
therefore clinton must remain president),
intellectually dishonest,
(habitually doing what the Arthur Schlesingers of this world do:
making history into the proof of their theories).
The Forbids 400's argument is shamelessly spurious.
They get all unhinged over the impeachment of clinton,
claiming that it will
"leave the presidency permanently disfigured and diminished,
at the mercy as never before of the caprices of any Congress."
Yet they dismiss the real and present--and future!!--danger
to the presidency and the country
of not impeaching and removing
this admittedly unfit, (Goodwin)
"documentably dysfunctional," (NYT)
presidency-diminishing, (Goodwin)
psychopathic thug.
Doris Kearns Goodwin and those 400 other
retrograde-obsessing historiographers
are a supercilious, power-hungry,
egomaniacal lot in their own right.
For them, clinton validates
what Ogden Nash merely hypothesized:
Any buffoon can make history,
but only a great man can write it.


Weekly Standard writer Tucker Carlson has dubbed Princeton University historian Sean Wilentz "loser of the week" for his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last week. The New York Times described his testimony as "gratuitously patronizing."
"Why would Wilentz risk his reputation to join the already bulging ranks of Clinton throne-sniffers?" Mr. Carlson asked Marxist historian Eugene Genovese, who guesses that "the pressure of time and the passions of the moment" got to Mr. Wilentz.
"As for why anyone would cite the Framers in defense of Clinton, Genovese seems baffled" Mr. Carlson wrote.
Mr. Genovese told Mr. Carlson: "I come from a rather tough working-class neighborhood where attitudes toward women left a great deal to be desired. ... But if anybody had said in the local pool room" some of the things President Clinton reportedly did to Monica Lewinsky, "the attitude would have been, 'That's degenerate. You don't do that to a girl, not even a whore.' The idea that the United States of America, the supreme world power, would tolerate a man in office who is a palpable moral degenerate -- the Founding Fathers would have choked."

The Washington Times---Inside Politics

it won't s-p-i-n  


Q ERTY2 "There isn't a shred of evidence."

HILLARY, YOU KNOW, KnowNothing Victim Q ERTY4 double bagel

They ARE space aliens

reckless rodham-clinton-gore reinvention-of-government schemata

W I D E B O D Y. low-center-of-gravity Dim Bulb, Congenital Bottom Feeder

Q ERTY3 zipper-hoisted

clinton zipper vitiated by obvious spilth

Humpty Dummies

Q ERTY6 utter failure IT IS OBVIOUS

4th-Estate Malfeasance (DEATH BY MISREPORT)

rodham-clinton reality-check BUMP!

50 posted on 04/09/2002 8:28:52 AM PDT by Mia T
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