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Timeline Of Polling History: People That Shaped the United States, and the World

Timeline Of Polling History: People That Shaped the United States, and the World

The Gallup Poll: 65 Years of Polling History

1936   Father Coughlin Only 7% of Americans say they would be "more likely" to vote for a candidate endorsed by Father Charles Coughlin, famed conservative talk radio pioneer and Catholic priest
1936 Wallis Simpson A 61% majority of Americans say they would like to see the American socialite marry King Edward, a union that ultimately required him to renounce the British thrown on December 10, 1936
1938 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Five years into his presidency, 58% of Americans choose FDR over his fifth cousin Teddy as the person who will likely be remembered as the greater president
1938 William Green 78% of Americans say they prefer Green, Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) founder, over his rival John L. Lewis of the American Federation of Labor (AFL)
1938 Felix Frankfurter Days after he was appointed to the high court, 82% of Americans predict that the Vienna born jurist will make a good U.S. Supreme Court justice
1938 Joe Louis Only 53% of Americans prefer the world heavyweight boxing champion Louis in an upcoming fight, while 47% favored the underdog, Tony Galento
1939 Huey Long Shortly after his death, 60% of Louisianans in a special Gallup survey think the former Governor and U.S. Senator was a good influence on their state; 24% say it was bad
1940 Eleanor Roosevelt 66% of Americans say they approve of the way Mrs. Roosevelt "has conducted herself as First Lady"
1941 Charles Lindbergh Only 24% of Americans who are familiar with them say they agree with the famed aviator's controversial foreign policy views; 63% disagree with his views
1942 James Petrillo Most Americans familiar with the union leader's attempt to ban phonograph records from radio over failure to pay royalties to musicians (75%) say they have an unfavorable view of his efforts
1943 Wendell Willkie Among the characteristics people say they like about the Republican presidential candidate: sincerity, open-mindedness, interest in world affairs. Least liked qualities: "too changeable," and talks too much
1943 John Lewis Only 9% of Americans say they have a favorable opinion of the powerful mine workers' labor leader and first AFL president; 87% have an unfavorable view
1944 Henry Wallace 58% of Americans had a favorable view of FDR's third-term vice-president, who would later break with the party in his opposition to the Cold War, and go on to found The New Republic magazine
1945 George Patton 50% of Americans give "unqualified approval" to the controversial army general who earned the name "Old Blood-and-Guts" by his troops in WWII
1947 George Marshall 64% of Americans approve of President Truman's appointment of General George Marshall as Secretary of State; 8% disapprove while 28% have no opinion
1949 Douglas MacArthur 26% of Americans give "enthusiastic approval" to General MacArthur for his handling of the U.S. occupation in Japan; another 55% give general approval while only 5% disapprove
1949 Dwight Eisenhower Two years before he would declare his Republican partisanship and seek the GOP nomination for president, 36% of Americans regarded General Eisenhower as a Republican, 22% considered him a Democrat, while 42% weren't sure.
1950 Joseph McCarthy Shortly after the U.S. Senator from Wisconsin declared that communists had infiltrated the State Department, 46% of those familiar with his charges thought it brought more good than harm; 35% thought the charges were doing more harm than good.
1953 J. Edgar Hoover Approximately half-way into his 48-year tenure as FBI director, 78% of Americans say he has done a "good job;" only 2% say he had done a "poor job."
1954 Joseph McCarthy In the midst of the Army-McCarthy hearings in Congress, only 35% of Americans held a favorable view of Senator McCarthy, 49% held an unfavorable view.
1957 Billy Graham 85% of Americans were able to correctly identify who Christian evangelist Billy Graham was in a Gallup poll; 15% were unsure of his identity
1959 Fidel Castro 20% of Americans who had heard of the Communist Cuban leader had a favorable view of him; 48% had an unfavorable view
1961 Jacqueline Kennedy 59% of Americans have a favorable view of the new First Lady while 13% have an unfavorable view.
1963 John F. Kennedy In final rating before Lee Harvey Oswald takes his life, 58% approve of JFK's job performance as president;30% disapprove
1967 Adam Clayton Powell Only 20% of Americans believe the Harlem-based pastor should be allowed to keep his seat in Congress over charges he had misused government funds; 63% thought Congress should remove him, as it eventually did.
1969 Mrs. Pat Nixon 54% approve of the way Mrs. Nixon is handling her job as First Lady; only 6% disapprove
1974 Richard Nixon Days before he resigns from office over Watergate, only 24% of Americans approve of the job he is doing as president
1976 Henry Kissinger 48% approve the way he is handling his job as Secretary of State; 37% disapprove
1978 Billy Carter 43% of Americans rate the president's controversial brother in favorable terms; 52% view him unfavorably
1979 Rosalynn Carter 59% approve of the way Mrs. Carter is handling her role as first lady; 19% disapprove
1980 Pope John Paul II First and only time Pope is named Most Admired Person of the year, beating outgoing President Jimmy Carter
1981 Ronald Reagan In April, 60% approve of the way new president is handling the economy; only 29% disapprove
1983 George Orwell 22% of national adults say they have read or seen a movie about Orwell's book, "1984"
1987 Gary Hart 64% of Americans think media treatment of the Democratic presidential candidate caught with Donna Rice on the "Monkey Business" is "unfair." 53% say marital infidelity has little to do with a president's ability
1987 Mikhail Gorbachev 54% of Americans have a favorable view of the Soviet leader; 28% have an unfavorable view
1987 Robert Bork 31% of Americans (including 48% of Republicans but only 18% of Democrats) want the Senate to confirm Bork for the Supreme Court, 25% do not want to see him confirmed, while 44% are unsure
1989 John Tower 53% of Americans familiar with John Tower's nomination to be President Bush's Secretary of Defense think he should not be confirmed; 35% are in favor
1989 Oliver North 49% say Colonel North was treated fairly
1991 Clarence Thomas 54% of Americans want to see Clarence Thomas confirmed by the Senate as Supreme Court justice; 25% are opposed while 21% are unsure
1991 David Duke Only 10% of national adults have a favorable view of the Louisiana gubernatorial candidate and former Ku Klux Klansman; 67% have an unfavorable view
1992 Ross Perot In late June survey, Ross Perot leads the race for president, favored by 34% of Americans, compared to 32% for Bush and 24% for Clinton
1994 Michael Jackson The chart topping pop star was charged with sexually abusing a 14-year old boy, whom he counted among his child friends. At the time, one-quarter of Americans, 23%, described themselves as Jackson fans.
1994 Newt Gingrich 18% of Americans have a favorable view of the new incoming House Speaker; 26% have an unfavorable view; 51% say it's "too soon to tell."
1995 O.J. Simpson In late September survey, Americans are divided at 43% over whether the prosecution has proven its murder case against Simpson "beyond a reasonable doubt."
1995 Louis Farrakhan 50% of black Americans say Minister Farrakhan represents their views "very" or "somewhat" well; 84% say the same about Jesse Jackson
1996 Ross Perot 60% of Americans think the independent candidate should be admitted to the presidential debates, from which he is ultimately excluded
1997 Timothy McVeigh Upon his conviction for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, 61% think he should receive the death penalty; 31% say life in prison without parole
1998 Monica Lewinsky In the first week of news about the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, only 39% feel sympathetic for Lewinsky; 53% say they are unsympathetic
1999 Bill Clinton On eve of historic Senate vote, only 31% of Americans want their Senators to vote to convict Clinton of articles of impeachment; 66% want acquittal

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