Poll: Best GOP President of the 20th Century?

 

Time for a little Presidents’ Day diversion. I wondered who is Ricochet’s favorite Republican president of the 20th Century. I excluded the 19th Century (Lincoln would win running away) and I excluded our current century because of the recency bias (there’s a reason the Most Admired Person polls almost always go to the current president).

Is there a groundswell of support for Gerald Ford? An unexpected love for Warren G. “Regulate” Harding? It is time to make your stand!

(Fair warning: this freebie poll dealie won’t display correctly. If it looks like crap, it’s their fault!)

Who Is The Best GOP President of the 20th Century?

 
pollcode.com free polls

Poll is good for 24 hours. And in the comments, you can justify your choice or badmouth the competition.

Update: View final results here.

Published in General
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 36 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    I voted for Calvin Coolidge (doing and saying less is almost always better than doing or saying anything), but Ronald Reagan is a strong runner up for using his words to stick it to the Soviet Union.

    • #1
  2. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    What? No write-ins? Stanley Schmedley was the best President the Elks local ever had!

    • #2
  3. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    I’m sure the democrats will find a way to win this poll. 

    • #3
  4. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    I’m sure the democrats will find a way to win this poll. 

    • #4
  5. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    I’m sure the democrats will find a way to win this poll.

    well at least my guy (Reagan) is in the top 2. But realize it is early. Wonder when the 2:00 am 200,000 ballots will come in. 

    • #5
  6. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    I didn’t see George W. Bush listed. I would consider him better than Nixon or Ford, though not the best. I think he was better than HW.

    Could “Silent Cal” have survived in today’s culture? I think he would have been buried in calumny by the media. He was a man for his time. 

    Reagan is deserving of being well-liked, but he stumbled in some respects. How can I compare the issues he faced to those of Coolidge?

    I think Eisenhower deserves better than what he has been rated so far – but the best?

    This is hard.

    • #6
  7. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    Time for a little Presidents’ Day diversion.

    We could fight about how it’s really Washington’s Birthday and we don’t need to celebrate all Presidents.

    • #7
  8. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    RONALDUS Maximus-

    1) no other politician would have had the courage to allow Paul Volcker to strangle off the inflationary cycle we were in- it caused a severe short term contraction that no other President would have been willing to risk.

    2) broke the air traffic controllers union when it thought it had the whip hand b/c it was a critical civil servant

    3) won the Cold War- even tho the left cried nuclear winter, the KGB funded the European peacenicks to try to keep the cruise missiles and Pershing missile deployment to counter the Soviet SS-20 missiles that were poised to decouple NATO and the US-lead to the INF treaty

    4) gets the nod if only b/c when asked what his plan for the Cold War was he said “we win, they lose”.

    Reagan faced a much, much more hostile situation than Cool Cal ever did and a much higher risk of catastrophe if he failed. We could use more of Cool Cal’s style but he had a much stronger hand to play then RR.

    addendum- I also like RR when he began to use the old “I can’t hear you” when obnoxious Sam Donaldson would scream questions at him as he boarded Marine One

    • #8
  9. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    The formatting is a little messed up. I think I voted for Ike. I like Ike.

    • #9
  10. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    I’m sure the democrats will find a way to win this poll.

    And the winner is . . . Jimmy Carter? Hey, it’s certified so it must be true.

    • #10
  11. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    I’m sure the democrats will find a way to win this poll.

    And the winner is . . . Jimmy Carter? Hey, it’s certified so it must be true.

    Well as Jimmy always said his negotiation skill got the Iranian hostages freed- it was just a coincidence the plane full of the hostages left Iranian airspace just before RR got his hands on the nuclear football codes…

    • #11
  12. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    MiMac (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    I’m sure the democrats will find a way to win this poll.

    And the winner is . . . Jimmy Carter? Hey, it’s certified so it must be true.

    Well as Jimmy always said his negotiation skill got the Iranian hostages freed- it was just a coincidence the plane full of the hostages left Iranian airspace just before RR got his hands on the nuclear football codes…

    I thought it was because Papa Bush flew over in a two seat Blackbird to negotiate with the Iranians.

    • #12
  13. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Eisenhower and Coolidge, tied for first place.

    • #13
  14. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    JoelB (View Comment):
    I didn’t see George W. Bush listed.

    He was the first President of the 21st century. We have only had 2 GOP presidents in the 21st Century. 

    For that poll, I would go Trump then Bush then, if forced to acknowledge them, Biden/Obama.

    • #14
  15. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Instugator (View Comment):

    JoelB (View Comment):
    I didn’t see George W. Bush listed.

    He was the first President of the 21st century. We have only had 2 GOP presidents in the 21st Century.

    For that poll, I would go Trump then Bush then, if forced to acknowledge them, Biden/Obama.

    Well Trump is the greatest President of the Twenty-first Century but the competition is weak.

    • #15
  16. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    I picked Reagan over Coolidge because the Presidency has two parts: domestic policy (at which Coolidge excelled) and foreign policy.  Coolidge wasn’t tested on foreign policy while Reagan won the Cold War.

    Both Presidents were succeeded by members of their own administration, who cruelly and stupidly undercut their vision.

    • #16
  17. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    An Honorable Mention should go to poor ol’ Warren G. Harding.  Mr. Harding inherited an economic downturn from Woodrow Wilson and brought about a rapid recovery.  He did so by cutting government spending by 50 percent.  Look ashamed, Keynesians.

    • #17
  18. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    How about the best President of the Half-Century?

    1783-1800:  George Washington

    1800-1850:  James K. Polk.  Polk made the US a continental country.  He had four campaign promises, and fulfilled them in a single term, and didn’t run for re-election.

    1850-1900:  Abraham Lincoln

    1900-1950:  Calvin Coolidge

    1950-2000:  Ronald Reagan

    2000-2020:  George W. Bush

    • #18
  19. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    I am guessing that Nixon’s single vote was cast by Brother McVey…

    • #19
  20. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    Time for a little Presidents’ Day diversion.

    We could fight about how it’s really Washington’s Birthday and we don’t need to celebrate all Presidents.

    I consider it a merger of Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthdays, therefore the day does not honor all presidents. Just 2.

    • #20
  21. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Ronald Reagan is head and shoulders above them all.  Special kudos to George H.W. Bush.  For a one termer he had a good and under rated presidency.

    • #21
  22. JamesSalerno Coolidge
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Coolidge, then Harding, then a big drop to Reagan, then it all falls off a cliff, with TR and Nixon fighting for the bottom spots.

    I am not a fan of 20th century presidents. 

    • #22
  23. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    Coolidge/Harding fits my political Philosophy the best

    Reagan and Eisenhower were the right men at the right time

    JFK was way over rated by a fawning press

    the rest were mediocre or worse

    Wilson was the worst 

    • #23
  24. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Manny (View Comment):

    Ronald Reagan is head and shoulders above them all. Special kudos to George H.W. Bush. For a one termer he had a good and under rated presidency.

    I voted for TR for sentimental reasons, but I agree, really with you and all the other Reagan adulators here. 

    • #24
  25. The Cloaked Gaijin Member
    The Cloaked Gaijin
    @TheCloakedGaijin

    Wow, I wonder who voted for Hoover and Nixon.

    In some ways, you really have to divide them up between pre-FDR presidents and post-FDR presidents though.

    Warren Harding might be one of the best and most underrated presidents — just for cutting spending which got the unemployment rate down from 12% to 3.4% in about 24 months.  Compare that to the complete vote-buying and power schemes of the disaster of Franklin Roosevelt… 

    P.S. You forgot the 8 1/2 months of William Kinley, one of Karl Rove’s favorite presidents.

    • #25
  26. The Cloaked Gaijin Member
    The Cloaked Gaijin
    @TheCloakedGaijin

    Manny (View Comment):

    Special kudos to George H.W. Bush. For a one termer he had a good and under rated presidency.

    Except for destroying the Republican Party and the confidence of the American people for a generation with a fake “read my lips” tax pledge for which we can still see the aftermath today, giving us Bill Clinton, etc.  He should have at least have had the decency not to run again, if raising taxes was to be his new religion.

    He did give us Clarence Thomas, one of the best Supreme Court justice ever, and David Souter, one of the worst.

    • #26
  27. The Cloaked Gaijin Member
    The Cloaked Gaijin
    @TheCloakedGaijin

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    1800-1850: James K. Polk. Polk made the US a continental country. He had four campaign promises, and fulfilled them in a single term, and didn’t run for re-election.

    Well, don’t complain about Trump’s Mexico policy.  He never went to war with the country like Polk did.

    (Big names like Abraham Lincoln, Charles Sumner, John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster, John Quincy Adams, and Henry David Thoreau didn’t really support war with Mexico.)

     

    • #27
  28. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Coolidge was the last President to actually limit government to any significant degree.

    • #28
  29. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    Time for a little Presidents’ Day diversion.

    We could fight about how it’s really Washington’s Birthday and we don’t need to celebrate all Presidents.

    I consider it a merger of Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthdays, therefore the day does not honor all presidents. Just 2.

    Maybe, but the law or code on the books still calls it Washington’s Birthday. It hasn’t officially been changed.

    • #29
  30. David March Thatcher
    David March
    @ToryWarWriter

    JoelB (View Comment):

    I didn’t see George W. Bush listed. I would consider him better than Nixon or Ford, though not the best. I think he was better than HW.

    Could “Silent Cal” have survived in today’s culture? I think he would have been buried in calumny by the media. He was a man for his time.

    Reagan is deserving of being well-liked, but he stumbled in some respects. How can I compare the issues he faced to those of Coolidge?

    I think Eisenhower deserves better than what he has been rated so far – but the best?

    This is hard.

    20th Century remember.  W was president in the 21st century.

    • #30