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February 6, 2011

This is like Christmas for some people. Ultimately, Ronald Reagan was a great leader and one still widely-respected among conservatives as the kind of leader they still wish they had. Now, we’re not going to go so far as to turn the guy into a saint, but we will note that he was ultimately better for the American people than not. Above is one of his most famous political ads, “It’s Morning in America Again,” from this pretty awesome L.A. Times package about the dude. Below, a quick analysis of his approval rating throughout his presidency.

  • 67% the highest popularity that Ronald Reagan had as president, reached three times – once in 1981 and twice in 1986
  • 41% the lowest popularity he garnered, back in 1983; he neared that level again during the Iran-Contra scandal in 1987
  • 60% his popularity rating after leaving office; to compare, Democratic icon Bill Clinton had 67 percent source

» Fluctuating, but never fading: One interesting note about Ronald Reagan’s presidency is that while he’s gained a high degree of legendary status among conservatives, as a president, his popularity had numerous highs and lows. However, he never reached the nadir of folks like Jimmy Carter (who left office with 34 percent approval) or George W. Bush (who left with 24 percent approval – the same low Richard Nixon reached when he left office). He left with respect. Then his legend slowly grew. And that’s where we are today.

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12:35 // 3 years ago