Presidential Success : President And The Political Ideology Of The Selected Public

3660 Words15 Pages
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and Franklin Roosevelt are consistently ranked high in rankings of presidential success, yet most political scholars would agree that presidential success is one of the most difficult topics to define. The same issues that make the topic of presidential success interesting and open to debate also make it difficult to determine. There are numerous problems with attempting to define presidential success: the intended public and the political ideology of the selected public are both difficult factors. If one takes a survey of average Americans, the results will certainly look different than the results from a survey of historians or political scientists. In cases such as these it can be difficult to decide if a degree or experience in a field overrule the everyday person, or if the majority rules. The correct answer to this may even change as the survey is presented to each of the groups. Furthermore, if one does a survey of Democrats, the results of presidential greatness will likely differ from a survey of Republicans. Even if one selects an equal proportion of each party, the radical Democrats and the moderate Democrats will likely have a vastly different opinion. The issue of third-party supporters and independents only adds another layer to this problem. After these basic questions, we face a second problem: deciding which factors are important when attempting to determine presidential greatness. James
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