I saw this poll on modern presidents today. Kennedy is still the highest followed by Reagan. Nixon was last.
George H.W. Bush's ratings have gone up:
Bush Appears to Be Vindicated, writes James Hohmann at Politico: "Bush's 47 percent
approval rating also raises serious questions about the wisdom of the White House decision to relentlessly attack him in the months before the Democrats' historic losses in the midterm elections." The "rebound," he continues, also "gives some credence to what he has long said--that history will eventually judge his presidency."
The surprise, according to this article, was Clinton and Carter:
"The most noticeable change in this year's survey is the rise of Bill Clinton and fall of Jimmy carter," says Bruce Drake at Politics Daily:
Carter had left office with a dismal 34 percent approval rating in a Gallup poll after his one term, compared to Clinton's rebound to 66 percent in 2001 despite the cloud over his presidency from the 1998 Monica Lewinsky affair. Clinton ended his term on a high approval note, thanks to a booming economy that offset the damage from the Lewinsky scandal. Gallup surveys at the time suggested that the public separated in its mind how he was doing his job as president compared to its opinion of Clinton's personal behavior (only 24 percent considered him "honest and trustworthy" in January 1999).