Poll: FDR best modern president
Feb 29,2008 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON - Franklin D. Roosevelt is the top-rated modern U.S. president, a Zogby International telephone poll found.

Roosevelt has been at the top of Zogby's Presidential Greatness survey since 1997. He lost the No. 1 position twice to fellow Democrat John F. Kennedy, in 2006 and 2002.

In a poll of 1,026 likely voters, 69 percent of respondents this year rated Roosevelt as a "great" president, compared to 67 percent who said the same thing about Kennedy. Republican Ronald Regan was third with 62 percent of respondents giving him a combined great or near-great ranking.

The poll, conducted Feb. 22-23, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

Since reaching his all-time low approval rating last year, President George W. Bush moved up to ninth place out of the last 12 presidents.

Of those surveyed, 22 percent rated Bush as great or near-great this year, up from 21 percent last year. Bush's best ranking was 63 percent in 2002, following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Among other living presidents, Democrat Bill Clinton continues to be ranked highest at 42 percent. Republican George H.W. Bush has 27 percent, 25 percent for Democrat Jimmy Carter.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.