The Most Disliked American Politicians of All Time (Including Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton)

How do you measure hate? It’s difficult, if not impossible. These days, we use polls and surveys as a primary metric to gauge popularity and likability among politicians. But they’re far from perfect. Hate, or extreme dislike, is often felt at the gut level. Sometimes, you can’t even explain where it comes from. You just know there are some people who irk you. They turn your stomach. They make you want to set yourself on fire.

Politicians are often among the most hated figures in society. Sometimes, it’s justified. These people are, after all, making decisions that affect us all. And a lot of times, they have to make the unpopular choice. When trying to devise a list of the most hated or unpopular politicians, it can be hard to get a real sense of who’s hated and who’s not. Are they hated because they’re actually horrible people or because they had to make an unpopular choice?

We’ve taken it all into account and compiled a list of some of the most hated politicians in American history. We’re keeping our list to American politicians, both from the past and present. Otherwise, we’d end up with a list of dictators, including Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, etc. — you know, the usual suspects. We also looked at disapproval and favorability ratings as one element, but those only stretch back so far. There’s no real definitive way to say who’s hated more than anyone else, so remember this is largely subjective.

First up is the Senate’s most hated man.

1. Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz eating

Ted Cruz does not rank favorably. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Sen. Al Franken has said he tends to like Ted Cruz more than the rest of his colleagues. But he follows that up with this: “And I hate Ted Cruz.” He calls him “the guy who microwaves fish in the office” to drive home the point. Indeed, Cruz is one of the most hated senators in recent memory. He just seems to have perfected the art of rubbing people the wrong way. A glance at his favorability ratings during his 2016 presidential run will tell you all you need to know.

But America’s dislike for politicians isn’t isolated to sitting senators. It stretches way, way back.

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