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Ronald Reagan Would Beat Obama In Election, Poll Finds

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Republican politicians are apparently not the only ones to wax nostalgic about the presidency of Ronald Reagan. According to a new poll by Kelton Research for the National Geographic Channel, 58 percent of Americans said they would vote for Reagan over President Barack Obama in a contemporary election.

The finding is consistent with a broader theme of the survey's results. Approximately three in four respondents agreed that the government functioned better in the 1980s than it does today. They also said the nation as a whole was better off and safer while Reagan was in the White House.

Reagan, who left office in 1989 with one of the highest approval ratings in modern presidential history, is often invoked as a measuring stick during the national political debate. Even Obama spoke highly of the 40th president's political talents in 2008, more than three years after Reagan's death. "Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America," Obama said in January 2008.

Obama's approval rating has fallen since his reelection in November, and currently sits at 51 percent according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday.

Still, the youngest demographic in the survey -- ages 18 to 34 -- was split 51 percent to 49 percent in favor of a Reagan -- a difference that is less than the poll's 3.1 percent margin of error.

The poll, which was conducted online in March, surveyed 1,000 Americans aged 18 and older. It was undertaken to promote the National Geographic Channel's upcoming miniseries titled "The '80s: The Decade That Made Us."

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