Donald Trump ranked worst president in US history – again

Former president Donald Trump wears a suit and tie and he appears before a door

Despite many of his supporters’ claims to the contrary, Donald Trump has been labelled the worst president in US history by a group of esteemed historian and scholars. 

The 2024 edition of the Presidential Greatness Project Expert Survey, which collected insights from 154 historians, scholars and presidential experts, saw each commander-in-chief ranked on a scale of zero to 100. 

The experts assigned a ranking to each of the 45 US presidents, with 0 indicating “failure”, 50 basically being “average” and 100 meaning the president was considered “great”. Then, the US leaders were placed on a list based on their average score. 

Trump finished in last place, scoring just 10.9 out of 100 – the same spot he occupied in the 2018 edition of the survey. He also took the award for being the “most polarising of the ranked presidents” in this year’s poll.

This contradicts his Make America Great Again supporters who often claim on social media that he is the best US president to date, ahead of the likes of Founding Father and first president George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D Roosevelt, who led the country out of the Great Depression and turned them into a super power, war hero Dwight D Eisenhower, and John F Kennedy, who is credited with helping avert a nuclear war over the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Maybe not surprisingly, Trump apparently agrees with his adoring fans, suggesting in 2020 that it would be a “good idea” to have his face carved alongside those of Washington, Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt on famous Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

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Even among self-identified Republicans and conservatives, Trump only came in 41st out of 45 – barely edging out 15th president James Buchanan, who served from 1857-1861 and has often been ridiculed and blamed for increasing divisions within the country in the run-up to the Civil War.

Justin Vaughn, an associate professor of political science at Coastal Carolina University, and Brandon Rottinghaus, a professor of political science at the University of Houston, conducted the latest presidential survey. 

In an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times, the professors noted Trump’s low ranking came down to his “radical departure from political, institutional and legal norms”.

Trump has made history as the first current or former president in US history to face criminal charges. He is still engaged in numerous legal battles as he campaigns for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, for which he is the front-runner.

Former president Donald Trump wears a suit and tie and a red "Make America Great Again" hat while speaking into a microphone
A survey has named Donald Trump America’s worst-ever commander-in-chief. (Getty)

During his time in the White House, Trump was a constant source of fear for LGBTQ+ folks and other marginalised groups in the US. 

He banned trans people from serving openly in the militaryopposed life-saving legislation such as the Affordable Care Act and banned rainbow flags from being flown at US embassies

Trump continued to attack trans rights after leaving the White House. During his current presidential bid, he has vowed to crack down on so-called “transgender insanity”ban gender-affirming healthcare for young people and push a federal law recognising only two genders

Despite the charges and scandal after scandal, Trump has remained immensely popular among his fan base – some of whom rankled at the results of the survey, which placed Lincoln – who led the country through the Civil War – at the top of the list, with an overall ranking of 93.87. 

Washington and both Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt also scored high, while more-recent office-holder Barack Obama was seventh with a score of 73.8. Incumbent Joe Biden sat in 14th spot, with 62.66. 

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