I wonder sometimes why pollsters even ask questions like this:
John F. Kennedy remains the most popular modern U.S. president, according to a new Gallup poll of the nine most recent presidents, while Jimmy Carter’s approval rating has dropped 9 percentage points since 2006.
Since Gallup began its retrospective job approval poll in 1990, Kennedy has consistently topped the list of most popular presidents, while Richard Nixon has received the lowest approval rating in every poll except the one conducted in 1993. Lyndon Johnson, who now has a 47 percent rating, was ranked last that year.
Kennedy got a thumbs up from 85 percent of respondents.
Consider this for just a moment…
1) John F. Kennedy got a “thumbs up from 85% of respondents.
2) John F. Kennedy was killed in 1963—just over 47 years ago.
3) It appears from Gallup’s methods that they surveyed only those who are 18 years of age or older.
4) Now, if my quick math is right, based on the numbers found here, it would appear that (assuming no significant change in numbers between 2008 and now) that roughly 75% of the population is 18 or older, and of that number, almost 50 % would have been either been infants with likely no memory of the Kennedy presidency, or else born anytime in the last 47 years.
Just out of curiosity, why would we take seriously any kind of polling on presidential popularity—especially among the general public? Seems to me that the prime function of this is to help built the legend, not to really find out anything of substance.