20 Worst U.S. Presidents Of All Time

Ever wondered which Presidents are the best and worst? The answers will obviously differ from person to person but historians, of course, want a more precise approach. So, recently, the American Political Science Association created a systematic ranking approach to judge each and every President for their effectiveness as leaders. A total of 162 members of this group were polled and asked to rate all past U.S. Presidents for their effectiveness as legislators and their foresight as leaders. Presidents like Lincoln and Roosevelt earned high marks for their handing of national crises against impossible odds. Which of course begs the question, which Presidents performed poorly when serving our nation? Here are the results:

Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford’s relatively short presidency, at just 895 days, was more or less entirely focused on one thing: dealing with the fallout from Richard Nixon’s impeachment and resignation. As Nixon’s Vice-President, Ford moved into the Oval Office. Given the immensity of the scandal, is it any wonder President Ford was unable to accomplish much else?

Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States, comes in at number 19 on our list of worst Presidents. Not only was he blamed by the American public for the depression of 1837 but he fought against many policies that became quite popular – like annexing Texas and making it part of the Union.

Jimmy Carter

Despite being extremely active in global affairs since leaving office in 1981, Jimmy Carter comes in at number 18 on our list of Worst Presidents. Carter was a one term President whose administration was mired in not only a tough economy that included an energy crisis on the domestic front but international difficulties as well – including the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1981.

Calvin Coolidge

The 30th President of the United States comes in at number 17 on our list of Worst Presidents. Like several of our other less than ideal leaders, Coolidge ascended to the Presidency when his predecessor, Warren G. Harding, died in 1923. While extremely popular at the time of his presidency, and a staunch believer in the idea that the government should stay out of the affairs of its citizens, historians sometimes criticize Coolidge because of what they appear to have led to – the massive stock market bubble that cause the Great Depression.