The Worst U.S. Presidents

632k votes 66k voters 940k views 44 items tags f p @

List Criteria: The U.S. presidents whose administrations were the worst-run, most ill-fated, or most corrupt.

The worst U.S. presidents of all time, measured by their negative impact on the nation, its citizens health and happiness, and its future prosperity. (In some cases – such as the popular selections of Warren G. Harding and Richard Nixon – the negative view of the president and his administration is due to various scandals and perceived corruption within its ranks. Nixon, of course, remains the only president to step down from the office amidst threats of impeachment.)

Much of a president's job – including serving as the figurative head of the American state and setting the nation's general legislative and diplomatic agenda – is sort of intangible and hard to evaluate in strict "good vs. bad" terms. This makes any list of the "best" or "worst" US presidents essentially subjective, and though there were administrations with a significant series of positive or negative outcomes, it's rarely clear just how much these had to do with the person in office and how many were simply due to accidents of fate or circumstance. Nonetheless, in particularly extraordinary cases – such as the administration of Abraham Lincoln, which kept the nation intact during the Civil War crisis, or the administration of Andrew Johnson immediately after that threatened the entire success of the Reconstruction project – it is clear which presidents did an overall good or bad job.

So who were the worst presidents of all time? We're ranking them here, based on your votes! When you've had enough political negativity, be sure to check out Ranker's ultimate uplifting presidential list: The Best US Presidents.
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  1. 1
    + 37,239
    - 24,029

    added by grelaoer
    Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

    ;
  2. 2
    + 27,496
    - 22,630

    added by Joshuagreen38
    New Haven, Connecticut, USA

    ;
  3. 3
    + 20,504
    - 15,132


    Plains, Georgia, USA

    ;
  4. 4
    + 9,273
    - 7,589


    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

    ;
  5. 5
    + 14,615
    - 13,523


    Yorba Linda, California, USA

    ;
  6. 6
    + 12,881
    - 10,481


    Stonewall, Texas, USA

    ;
  7. 7
    + 19,809
    - 14,786


    Hope, Arkansas, USA

    ;
  8. 8
    + 7,914
    - 7,146


    West Branch, Iowa, USA

    ;
  9. 9
    + 6,192
    - 5,746


    Cove Gap, Pennsylvania, USA

    ;
  10. 10
    + 7,669
    - 6,441


    Virginia, USA

    ;
  11. 11
    + 16,374
    - 15,592


    Tampico, Illinois, USA

    ;
  12. 12
    + 5,629
    - 5,545


    Blooming Grove, Ohio, USA

    ;
  13. 13
    + 10,069
    - 8,838

    added by swag
    New York City, Hyde Park, New York

    ;
  14. 14
    + 10,906
    - 10,928


    Milton, Massachusetts, USA

    ;
  15. 15
    + 6,160
    - 5,285


    Lamar, Missouri, USA

    ;
  16. 16
    + 5,008
    - 4,794


    Waxhaws

    ;
  17. 17
    + 6,084
    - 5,822


    Point Pleasant, Ohio, USA

    ;
  18. 18
    + 7,200
    - 7,484


    Omaha, Nebraska, USA

    ;
  19. 19
    + 11,130
    - 9,828


    Brookline, Massachusetts, USA

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  20. 20
    + 3,923
    - 4,810


    Summerhill, New York, USA

    ;
  21. 21
    + 6,308
    - 5,509

    added by Joshuagreen38
    Manhattan, New York City, New York

    ;
  22. 22
    + 3,092
    - 4,224


    Hillsborough, New Hampshire, USA

    ;
  23. 23
    + 3,618
    - 4,185


    Virginia, USA

    ;
  24. 24
    + 2,919
    - 3,849


    Kinderhook, New York, USA

    ;
  25. 25
    + 5,518
    - 5,581


    Denison, Texas, USA

    ;
  26. 26
    + 3,251
    - 3,202


    Caldwell, New Jersey, USA

    ;
  27. 27
    + 3,043
    - 3,328


    Braintree, Massachusetts, USA

    ;
  28. 28
    + 2,847
    - 3,181


    Delaware, Ohio, USA

    ;
  29. 29
    + 2,578
    - 3,551


    Virginia, USA

    ;
  30. 30
    + 3,031
    - 3,217

    added by Joshuagreen38
    Pineville, North Carolina, USA

    ;
  31. 31
    + 2,850
    - 3,105

    added by Joshuagreen38
    Moreland Hills, Ohio, USA

    ;
  32. 32
    + 2,617
    - 3,126


    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

    ;
  33. 33
    + 2,820
    - 3,803


    Plymouth Notch, Vermont, Vermont

    ;
  34. 34
    + 2,208
    - 3,116


    North Bend, Ohio, USA

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  35. 35
    + 6,655
    - 7,268

    added by Joshuagreen38
    Hodgenville, Kentucky, USA

    ;
  36. 36
    + 3,752
    - 4,055


    Braintree, Massachusetts, USA

    ;
  37. 37
    + 2,278
    - 3,090


    Barboursville, Virginia, USA

    ;
  38. 38
    + 4,807
    - 5,340


    Shadwell, Virginia, USA

    ;
  39. 39
    + 2,282
    - 3,172


    Niles, Ohio, USA

    ;
  40. 40
    + 2,169
    - 3,176


    Fairfield, Vermont, USA

    ;
  41. 41
    + 3,273
    - 3,838


    Port Conway, Virginia, USA

    ;
  42. 42
    + 5,789
    - 6,313

    added by Joshuagreen38
    Virginia, USA

    ;
  43. 43
    + 3,183
    - 3,725


    Monroe Hall, Virginia, Virginia

    ;
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