Thirty-six percent of those polled said they would pick Ronald Reagan over Franklin D Roosevelt, as the world's largest economy continues to struggle, according to the poll by 60 Minutes television show and Vanity Fair magazine.
"Bring back the Gipper, say 36% of Americans who chose Ronald Reagan over Franklin Delano Roosevelt (29%) when asked which past president they would want in the White House in these trying times," 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair said in a statement announcing the results.
Only 14% opted for Thomas Jefferson to return to office.
More than 60% of the 1 012 people questioned in the nationwide poll said that fears about past actions coming to light would prevent them running for office, with women more worried about what might be dug up about them during a campaign.
Although many people would prefer Clinton to get the vice president's job if Biden does not resume the roll in 2012, 5% of people said talk show host Oprah Winfrey should be considered for the position.
In a vote that might explain the sea of student laptops in every Starbucks in America, 50% of younger Americans polled said that it was acceptable to use the coffee house chain's free internet all day after buying a drink.
In the poll, 68% of Americans have read a book in the past month and the same percentage of Americans believe that the US Postal Service should operate at least five days a week as the threat of insolvency looms.
Lawmakers are considering ending on Saturday deliberation in restructuring plans.