The Slatest

A Majority of Republicans Say Trump is Better President Than Lincoln

People gather on the National Mall near a screen showing President Donald Trump delivering a speech during the “Salute to America” Fourth of July event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 2019.

A majority of Republicans say Donald Trump is a better president than Abraham Lincoln. Accoridng to a new Economist/YouGov poll, 53 percent of Republicans say Trump is a better president than Lincoln, who led the country through the Civil War. That feeling though is clearly confined to Republicans because when all Americans are taken into account, 75 percent say Lincoln was the better president and among Democrats the number is even larger—94 percent.


The poll immediately caused a bit of an uproar on social media. “53% of Republicans apparently don’t even know who Abraham Lincoln was…,” wrote Billy Baldwin. David Rothkopf also expressed shock: “Many of these people have jobs. Operate heavy equipment. Move freely in society. Can that be safe?”

As shocking as the numbers may be, Lincoln was not the exception as Republicans seem to think Trump was a better president than many others. A whopping 65 percent say Trump is a better president than Dwight Eisenhower while 71 percent claim Trump was a better president than George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. More than eight-in-10 Republicans say Trump was a better president than Gerald Ford and 86 percent say he is above Richard Nixon. The one exception? Ronald Reagan. Almost six-in-10 Republicans say Reagan was a better president with 41 percent choosing Trump.

Trump has previously celebrated his approval ratings within the GOP, comparing his popularity to that of Lincoln. “You know, a poll just came out that I am the most popular person in the history of the Republican Party,” Trump said in an interview last year with the Sun. “Beating Lincoln. I beat our Honest Abe.”