Presidential Rankings

AP US Government and Politics

Presidents Day Edition

According to C-SPAN’s 2017 Presidential survey, who were the top 5 best presidents in American history?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. Which president's ranking were you most incorrect about (you can get the whole list here)?

  3. What most surprised you about this list?

  4. Which president's rankings changed the most over the past 17 years?

  5. What leadership characteristics do you think the top five presidents share?

  6. What characteristics do you think the five bottom ranked most ratchet presidents share (you can get the whole list here)?

  7. What characteristics do you think C-SPAN used in ranking the presidents?

  8. What kind of people do you think C-SPAN asked to participate in ranking the presidents?

  9. Explain how different this list would have been if instead of asking experts to rank the presidents, C-SPAN asked random Americans to offer their rankings.

  10. How many presidents do you think the average American can even name?

  11. Okay, how many can you name, hot-shot?

  12. How surprised are you that Obama was ranked the twelfth best president?

  13. What was one event or presidential action responsible for Obama's high ranking?

  14. Do you imagine Obama's ranking will rise or fall over the next 17 years?

  15. Based on his first two years in office, how do you think Donald Trump will be judged by history?

  16. Of all the things President trump has done to make america great again since he has been pOTUS, what are the three most historically significant?

  17. Explain whether there is a connection between approval ratings and presidential rankings.

  18. James Madison was the father of the Constitution and one heck of a lady's man, but he was only ranked as the 17th best president ever. What characteristics that could make someone an elegant thinker and writer might not help them be a good president?

Learning Extension

You can jump all around C-SPAN's rad-badadical interactive presidential ranking page and learn a ton about the presidents!

Action Extension

Rank your top ten most lit presidents and share your rankings in class or online. Be prepared to explain why you ranked these individuals at the tip top.

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