Scholars say Eleanor Roosevelt best first lady

Associated Press Published:

NEW YORK -- A survey of academics has found that Eleanor Roosevelt was the nation's best first lady. Michelle Obama ranks fifth.

The findings from the Siena College/C-SPAN poll were released Saturday.

Hillary Clinton dropped from fourth to sixth since the last survey in 2008.

Abigail Adams kept her second place standing, and Jacqueline Kennedy retained third place. Dolley Madison was fourth.

Clinton is seen as the former first lady with the most presidential potential.

The poll is based on interviews with 242 historians, political scientists and other scholars questioned from Oct. 10 to Nov. 25 by mail and online.

The Siena College survey has been conducted five times since 1982.

Roosevelt has come out on top each time. She was the longest-serving first lady, from 1933 to 1945..

Her husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the only president elected to four terms, was in office for 12 years, from March 1933 until his death in April 1945.

This year's poll is being released alongside C-SPAN's "First Ladies" TV series.

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