politics The Worst U.S. Presidents

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List Rules 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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746 people just voted on Bill Clinton


Bill Clinton is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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Birthplace: Hope, AR Micropolitan Statistical Area, Arkansas, Hempstead County United States of America, + more

Nationality: United States of America

Party (if partisan): Democratic Party

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#3 on The Best U.S. Presidents in the Past 50 Years

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+ - 10,304 8,041

Andrew Johnson


Andrew Johnson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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Birthplace: Wake County, Area codes 919 and 984, United States of America, United States with Territories, + more

Nationality: United States of America

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#42 on The Greatest U.S. Presidents of All Time

#21 on The Greatest U.S. Vice Presidents of All Time

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Woodrow Wilson


Woodrow Wilson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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Birthplace: Staunton-Waynesboro, VA Micropolitan Statistical Area, Staunton city, Contiguous United States United States of America, + more

Nationality: United States of America

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#63 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

#27 on The Most Influential Politicians in American History

#10 on The Best Two-Term U.S. Presidents

#19 on The Greatest U.S. Presidents of All Time

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Barack Obama


Barack Obama is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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Birthplace: Area code 808, Honolulu County, Hawaiian Islands, United States of America United States, + more

Nationality: United States of America

Party (if partisan): Democratic Party

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#97 on The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

#31 on The Most Trustworthy Politicians

#70 on The Most Enlightened Leaders in World History

#43 on Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

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Franklin D. Roosevelt


Franklin D. Roosevelt is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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Birthplace: Contiguous United States, New York, Dutchess County, United States of America United States, + more

Nationality: United States of America

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#8 on The Most Enlightened Leaders in World History

#18 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

#62 on The Most Important Leaders in World History

#8 on The Most Influential Politicians in American History

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+ - 7,039 5,950

Harry S. Truman


Harry S. Truman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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Birthplace: United States of America, Lamar, United States, with Territories Missouri, + more

Nationality: United States of America

Party (if partisan): Democratic Party

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#28 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

#18 on The Most Influential Politicians in American History

#12 on The Greatest U.S. Presidents of All Time

#14 on The Best Political Nicknames

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+ - 21,430 16,080

Jimmy Carter


Jimmy Carter is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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Birthplace: Americus, GA Micropolitan Statistical Area, Sumter County, Plains United States of America, + more

Nationality: United States of America

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#7 on The Best U.S. Presidents in the Past 50 Years

#5 on The Best One-Term U.S. Presidents

#28 on The Greatest U.S. Presidents of All Time

#10 on Famous Politicians You'd Want to Have a Beer With

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+ - 28,799 23,709

George W. Bush


George W. Bush is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Party (if partisan): Republican Party

Also Ranked

#93 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

#5 on The Best U.S. Presidents in the Past 50 Years

#43 on The Most Influential Politicians in American History

#13 on The Best Two-Term U.S. Presidents

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