Most Americans believe the nation has benefited from President Reagan's leadership and that history will judge his efforts well, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The newspaper's poll, which comes as Americans are preparing to select a successor to Reagan, found that most of the praise focuses on his reducing the threat of nuclear war, while the criticism is aimed at his handling of domestic matters and managing the government.The telephone poll of 1,012 adults was taken June 15 through June 19, following the May superpower summit in Moscow.

The poll, which had a sampling error of 5 percentage points, found that 59 percent of Americans believe Reagan reduced the arms race, compared to 37 percent who disagree.

Of those polled, only 39 percent said they believe he kept his campaign promises, but 66 percent believe he stuck to his principles and 59 percent think he is honest.

Most of those questioned, 64 percent said he made the U.S. military strong and 53 percent said he changed the country in a good way.