Nearly half of Americans say Trump was worse than Nixon


Donald Trump ranked lower in approval than every other U.S. president in history in a recent poll.

Nearly half of Americans say Donald Trump is the "worst" president in U.S. history, according to a recent Economist/YouGov poll — even further down in the rankings than former President Richard Nixon.

The survey, conducted between Feb. 6-9, found that 46% of Americans said Trump was the worst president, significantly higher than the 5% who said the same of Nixon, who was famously forced out of office over the Watergate scandal ahead of his imminent impeachment in 1974.

Trump also ranked lower than former President George W. Bush, deemed "worst" by 4% of the poll's respondents, Bill Clinton (4%), and Jimmy Carter (3%), among other former commanders-in-chief.

Former President Barack Obama also ranked poorly, with 24% of respondents saying he was the worst president. The poll also showed 18% of respondents believed Obama was the best president in U.S. history, ranking just above former President Abraham Lincoln with 17%.

Obama's average approval numbers were notably higher than Trump's  — 48% to Trump's 41% — according to Gallup.

Trump notably left office with the lowest average approval rating ever recorded in the 75-year history of Gallup poling, according to its survey released in January. His final approval rating, 34%, is the "worst evaluation of his presidency," according to Gallup.

Other polls found similarly record-low approval ratings for Trump — 39% in a Morning Consult/Politico poll and 34% in a Quinnipiac University poll, both taken from Jan. 15-17.

A Pew Research Center poll, taken from Jan. 8-12, just after the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, showed Trump's lowest rating at 29%.

Nixon, of course, is perhaps most famous for his role in the Watergate scandal, for which 48 people were convicted of wrongdoing. Nixon himself was set to be impeached and was all but guaranteed to be removed from office over the scandal; however, he resigned at the last minute, but not before firing or ousting several high-profile Justice Department officials tasked with investigating his part in the controversy, in what has since become known as the Saturday Night Massacre.

Trump, who has had his own set of dismissal scandals, has now survived two impeachment proceedings, the last after provoking a mob of his supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, upset over his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden. Trump was acquitted by the Senate on Saturday, 57-43, with seven Republican senators joining Democrats to vote to convict.

During his first impeachment trial, facing charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Trump claimed he had been unfairly targeted as part of a partisan witch hunt and that his efforts to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate his political rivals, Biden among them, were "perfect" and harmless.

In his recent trial, facing a charge of incitement of insurrection, Trump's lawyers also insisted he did nothing wrong, with his lead impeachment defense attorney, Bruce Castor, claiming falsely on Friday that "clearly there was no insurrection" that day.

Notably, Trump's administration once suggested certain Watergate court cases were wrongly decided. And Trump himself has also said he "learned a lot from Richard Nixon."

"I learned a lot. I study history," Trump said in a "Fox and Friends" interview last May, just a few months after being acquitted in his first impeachment trial. However, he insisted, the difference between the two men was that Nixon "may have been guilty" but he himself had done "nothing wrong."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.