About the Presidents Study

Since 1982, the SCRI Survey of U.S. Presidents has been conducted during the second year of the first term of a new president. Previous SCRI surveys of U.S. Presidents have been reported in Presidential Studies Quarterly, The New York Times, Washington Post, recent scholarly reviews of the presidents, and national news networks.

Watch Dr. Lonnstrom discuss the history of the study and the ranking of presidents below.

The study calls upon historians, political scientists and presidential scholars to rate the presidents in twenty areas:

  • Background
  • Imagination
  • Integrity
  • Intelligence
  • Luck
  • Willing to take risks
  • Avoid crucial mistakes
  • Court appointments
  • Domestic Accomplishments
  • Executive Appointments
  • Foreign Policy accomplishments
  • Handling of U.S. Economy
  • Party leadership
  • Relationship with Congress
  • Ability to compromise
  • Communication ability
  • Executive ability
  • Leadership ability
  • Overall ability

SRI conducted 5 separate studies since 1982 including one in 2010 that includes the previous president, Barack Obama.