A panel of presidential politics experts has rendered its verdict on America’s greatest and worst presidents – Abraham Lincoln claims the top spot for the third straight survey, while Donald Trump sits at rock bottom in the 2024 Presidential Greatness Project rankings.

Lincoln Leads Pack Of All-Time Great Presidents For Third Straight Survey

The 2024 Presidential Greatness Project survey asked 154 prominent experts in presidential politics and governance to rank each former president on a scale from 0 (failure) to 100 (great). For the third consecutive survey, Abraham Lincoln led the pack as experts once again named him America’s greatest president (average score 89.7 out of 100). Lincoln, who guided the nation through the Civil War and took bold steps to end slavery, demonstrates enduring appeal across the political spectrum.

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Lincoln tops an elite list of presidents clutch scholars regard as titans – rounding out the top five are progressive icon Franklin Delano Roosevelt (average score 86.2), founding father George Washington (81.7), rugged outdoorsman and trust-buster Theodore Roosevelt (80.2), and Declaration of Independence drafter Thomas Jefferson (80.1).

Obama Cracks Top 10 As Modern Presidents Polarize; Reagan Well Below Expectations

Recent presidents tend to spark division among scholars along partisan lines, and the 2024 expert survey proved no different. Barack Obama cracked the top 10 with an average rating of 71.6, good for 7th place – Democrats put him at 6th while Republicans dropped him to 15th. Bill Clinton earned a 65.3 rating (12th overall), with Republicans ranking him 10th and Democrats placing him 12th.

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Ronald Reagan failed to crack the top 10, coming in at 16th place overall. The conservative icon rode high with an average 5th place ranking among GOP scholars but plunged to 18th in Democrat eyes. Reagan’s mixed results provide more fuel for debates over whether his legacy lives up to lavish modern Republican praise. Joe Biden debuts at a middling 14th, buoyed by 13th place showing among Democrats while written off as 30th best by Republicans.

Trump Blasted As America’s Worst President; Faith In Lincoln Endures Tests Of Time

Former president Donald Trump sits at rock bottom in the 2024 Presidential Greatness survey following his disastrous single term ending in insurrection and election denialism. On a scale from 0 (failure) to 100 (great), scholars handed Trump an average score of just 21 – dwarfed by the next lowest finisher, chronic pre-Civil War bungler James Buchanan at 29.5. Researchers tagged Trump as America’s worst president regardless of ideological affiliation.

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Meanwhile, Abraham Lincoln demonstrates remarkable staying power as the gold standard of presidential leadership. Lincoln claimed identical 89.7 ratings in 2024 as in 2018 and 2015 surveys – experts cementing his status even amid the modern political turmoil. With unparalleled political and rhetorical skills matched by steely moral purpose, Lincoln offers a model of principled, patient leadership singularly well-equipped to steer democracy through periods of crisis and division.

Washington To LBJ: Modern Scholars Affirm Consensus All-Time Great Presidents

While recent commanders-in-chief often polarize along partisan lines, experts continue to show strong consensus on many past titans of the Oval Office. George Washington (2nd place overall), FDR (2nd), and Theodore Roosevelt (4th) have retained lofty standings across ideological lines both over time and between scholars of different backgrounds.

Source: Wikimedia/The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thomas Jefferson (5th) drew criticism over slaveholding from some circles but retains broad acclaim for his cerebral leadership style and promotion of democracy. Experts also continue to recognize Harry Truman (6th overall) for global leadership confronting communism and championing democratic values abroad. Lyndon Johnson (10th) drew rebukes for the Vietnam War but garnered praise for ambitious domestic policy, including civil rights advances and anti-poverty programs.

JFK Ascends Among Recent Presidents While Carter Reassessed

Modern presidents with mixed or polarizing legacies have seen their standings shift among political scientists in recent surveys. John F. Kennedy leaped up to 8th amid a continued nostalgic affinity for his youthful dynamism, visionary rhetoric, and tragically short tenure. Ulysses S. Grant also reached a 2024 high of 20th, overcoming his corrupt, scandal-plagued administration with recognition of efforts protecting civil rights.

Source: Wikimedia/White House Press Office (WHPO), Cecil Stoughton, White House

In contrast, the 2024 survey marks a potential setback for Jimmy Carter’s quest for historical reassessment. While some praise Carter’s post-presidency humanitarian work, scholars handed him a mediocre 27th place ranking as president amid criticism of a perceived timid leadership style plagued by stagflation. Carter gained renown for brokering Israel-Egypt peace but lost favor through a hostage crisis casting America as unable to project strength abroad.

Expert Survey Affirms Consensus On Presidential Failures

While recent presidents often divide public opinion along ideological fault lines, the league of recognized White House failures retains broad bipartisan scorn from scholars. Perennial cellar-dwellers James Buchanan (43rd), Andrew Johnson (44th), Franklin Pierce (42nd), and William Henry Harrison (41st) again clustered at the bottom of the 2024 Presidential Greatness Survey due to perceived incompetence and inability to meet the moment in times of crisis.

Source: Wikimedia/Daniel Schwen

Buchanan draws special opprobrium for failing to act decisively against Southern secessionist fervor on the eve of the Civil War. Reconstruction over, seer Johnson merits rebuke for obstructing racial equality gains and allowing former Confederate states to violently subjugate newly freed slaves after the Union’s hard-won victory. These consistent presidential failures offer lessons in damage wrought when ideology trumps reasoned governance.

Once Lionized, Reagan and Bush Reassessed With Benefit Of Hindsight

Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have seen their White House legacies tarnished through modern re-evaluation by presidential experts. While once lionized within Republican circles, Reagan has seen his ranking slowly descend from 11th in 2009 to 16th amid renewed focus on ballooning deficits and the Iran-Contra scandal. Bush peaked at 23rd in 2015 before sliding to a 32nd place tally matching Harry Truman’s lowest point.

Source: Wikimedia/Billy Hathorn

Scholars cite failed policies including Bush’s misguided Iraq War, controversial torture program, and laissez-faire Wall Street deregulation exploding into a financial crisis. Both former leaders relied on the folksy charm to push through policies experts increasingly decry as reflecting more ideological wishful thinking over pragmatic governance. With historical hindsight adjusting earlier partisan affinity, the slowly sagging stature of Reagan and Bush reaffirms Thomas Jefferson’s maxim that errors approved by the people often produce the most mischief.

Washington To Lincoln: Enduring First Principles Anchor Top Executive Models

While hotly disputed ideologically-charged recency bias affects the standing of modern presidents, America’s most venerated White House stewards retain remarkably consistent appeal over generations. George Washington set paramount precedents with a judicious exercise of executive power and a smooth transition sealing peaceful democratic succession. Abraham Lincoln later cemented his place on presidential Mount Rushmore by navigating the ruinous Civil War while evolving ethically to prioritize human equality as a primary national principle.

Source: Wikimedia/Noah Wulf

These North Star presidents draw veneration for grounding leadership models upon enduring first principles of democratic governance, civic responsibility, and human rights progress over partisanship. With humility matching visionary purpose, Washington and Lincoln complimented skilled policymaking with moral courage to challenge citizens towards national fulfillment of founding ideals. By consciously placing principles before politics, these executive icons illustrate the vortex of great leadership centering society toward justice.

Modern Presidents Chart Own Course As History’s Judgment Unfolds

Rising and falling presidential reputations as ideological biases shift convey a primary lesson – even experts today are imperfect evaluators until sufficient time passes for historical scrutiny to fully weigh complex legacies. This reality leaves modern presidents from JFK forward charting unique courses seeking to shape enduring historical appraisal. Legacy-minded figures like Obama and Trump in particular have shown a desire to harness present platforms for continuous narrative-shaping surrounding their White House years.

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

Yet presidents with eyes more towards historians than contemporaries risk losing public buy-in for current policy fights. Meanwhile consensus titans like Lincoln attained greatness not by chasing legacy but by rising to the unique undefinable challenges posed by watershed national moments. With historical judgments remaining fluid generations out, living presidents might be wise to define greatness more through present principles than future verdicts.

Lincoln Sets Gold Standard As Presidential Discourse Struggles

The 2024 Presidential Expert Greatness Survey reaffirms Abraham Lincoln’s enduring status as the national gold standard of principled, moral leadership through crisis.

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As Trump’s rock-bottom rating shows, straining civic discourse through ideological demagoguery courts historical scorn. Yet Lincoln’s model of persuading citizens through eloquent rational ideals retains lasting appeal. With democracy facing internal divides, Lincoln’s shrewd intellect and poetic gifts for unifying rhetoric offer a north star for restoring reasoned civic discourse against authoritarian reactions. His legend looms large, challenging successor presidents to live up to timeless ideals.