Monday, January 19, 2009

Truck drivers: rating the presidents

Land Line offers an unscientific Web poll each week on the Web site to gauge truckers’ opinions on issues of interest. Last week, we asked who was the best president of the United States in the past three decades.

OK, I know it’s tough to define “best.” In today’s world, that often means most popular or best looking or even who makes the most appearances on “Saturday Night Live.” But for this rating, we simply wanted the overall “best,” however you interpret that to be.

The last time we did this, Ronald Reagan was the choice, and he still appears to be in good favor with professional truck drivers.

In any of the big polls of presidents during the past 10 years, Reagan ranks highly among former U.S. presidents in terms of approval rating. He was first in the 1999 C-SPAN rating; first in the 2000 ABC News Poll; second in the Washington College rating.

In the Rasmussen Reports poll of 2007, he was ninth. But consider how tough it is to be compared to Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and the Roosevelts, not to mention JFK – all bigger-than-life individuals who left huge footprints on the history books.

In the Gallup poll of 2007, Lincoln, a personal hero of our incoming President Barack Obama, was rated first. Reagan was second.

In our recent and humble poll, Ronald Reagan scored sky high, with 62 percent of the response. In second place, William Jefferson Clinton took 29 percent of the “votes.” George W. Bush earned nearly 5 percent; Jimmy Carter scored slightly more than 2 percent and George Herbert Walker Bush finished at the bottom with less than 2 percent.

By the way, our numbers have been rounded off and may not add up to 100 percent.