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   Kennedy, Reagan tops in Americans' Hearts

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9/16/2011 9:00 am

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Entered 9/16/2011, Updated 9/16/2011

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On our national poll last week we asked Americans their opinion about every former President of the last 50 years. Here's how they rank from most popular to least popular as measured by net favorability: 1) John F. Kennedy (74/15 favorability, net of +59). JFK is the only one of the former Presidents seen positively by a majority of Democrats (90/6), independents (70/16), and Republicans (59/25). A majority of voters within every demographic subgroup included in the poll has a favorable view of Kennedy. 2) Ronald Reagan (60/30 favorability, net of +30). Reagan is just as popular with Republicans as Kennedy is with Democrats at a 90/7 spread. And although not quite to the same extent as Kennedy he has exceptionally good numbers with independents as well at 62/28. Where he really falls short is the crossover popularity- only 35% of Democrats like him with 51% expressing a dim view. 3) Bill Clinton (62/34 favorability, net of +28). The most interesting thing about Clinton's numbers is probably that he's more popular with black voters than any of the other Presidents of the last 50 years, just barely edging Kennedy at an 86/9 spread. 33% of Republicans express a positive opinion of him which seems remarkable given the level of vitriol toward him while he was actually in office.


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