Presidential Polls

Ever wish you could whisper in the president's ear? Give him advice on issues plaguing the nation? Well, here's your chance to tell the world what you would do if you were president of the United States. Twice weekly, we'll ask our readers a question about an issue facing the nation and post your responses here.

Today's question:

If you were president, would you be concerned about your low approval ratings? And, if so, what would you do to improve them?

Read some of the recent stories on this topic in the box on the right, then e-mail us at Check back during the day to read more responses from FOX Fans and to see if yours was posted.

Here's what FOX Fans are saying:

"A politician worries about poll numbers. A leader worries about doing the right thing. My thinking is that if I were president, I would want to do what I thought was right and let history sort out the rest. The only thing I might do differently is be a bit more forceful to some of the more outrageous ‘cut and run’ critics who are politicizing our national security and the war on terror." — Kim (Springfield, MO)

"I'd secure the borders and stop pandering to the Latino vote. We are a nation of laws, and the legislators in D.C. should start acting accordingly." — Jan (Timonium, MD)

"There’s no doubt that I’d be very concerned about my approval ratings as president of the U.S. It is almost an unwritten requirement of being president. As president, you are supposed to defend the nation as part of a government that is elected by the people, for the people, and of the people. A democracy is a nation that listens to everyone and decides what is the best course of action based on everyone’s ideas. I would definitely listen to the polls and listen to the very people that I govern, because without them you have no country." — Dan (Oak Forest, IL)

"If polls are that terribly low, that means something is terribly wrong. A president should listen to the will of the people and work across the aisle in a bipartisan manner." — Jane

"In all honesty, a president is still a human being and has to be at least somewhat concerned. A president works harder at his job than people realize, and for that reason he should have good press interaction. As president, I would tackle three issues every day: 1) Alternative and traditional energy development with tax credit breaks 2) Spend time repairing homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina, while touting all of the efforts made since the hurricane (this was largely the local government's failure, but it was the president's worst handling of any national matter, and he needs to erase the memory of that) 3) Finding and destroying the weapons of mass destruction that are deemed a threat, and getting this information out in the open to be examined thoroughly so our Iraq initiative would take on renewed credibility and vigor." — Tom

"I would be very concerned. It would show me my policies were not very good. I would resign." — Mel

"No, I would not be concerned about polls. I think polls only do one thing, and that is provide news shows with something to talk about. A leader makes decisions which can be unpopular with any group. But that is what leaders do — whether the leader of the free world, a major company or of a small business. It's not decision-making by consensus, thus you will never make everyone happy." — Steve (Ramona, CA)

"I would be very concerned. To improve the polls, I would stop lying to the American people and take responsibility for my actions and non-actions." — Manny

"If I were president, I would not be concerned with the polls, as most people are too stupid to know what really is going on anyways." — Gary (Dallas, OR)

"I would not care about approval polls, since most come from the other side of politics. If I knew that what I was doing was for the good of the country, I'd ignore those who had anything negative to say." — Betsy

"I would not be concerned at all. I would be concerned about producing results, and that’s the only measure that is important. The only question that a president should be concerned about is the question of whether he is doing what he promised to do. Is he upholding the constitution and doing whatever is required to protect the U.S.? If you were to listen to everyone and their opinion, regardless of their political affiliation, you would never get the job done." — Dan (Houston, Texas)

"I would be very concerned about my approval rating in this last term of office if I were the president. I feel that if the populace were concerned and afraid (and they are), my economic policies would be abandoned. The support for all programs that were instituted under my administration would be eroded, and my entire first term would have been wasted. History will judge a president." — David

"I would listen to the majority of the people. I would use every tool available to me to learn why they no longer support me. I would call in Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Dick Morris, along with J. C. Watts, Walter Williams, and Newt Gingrich, all of whom have their eyes and ears on the American public. I would ask all of these men for their advice and observations. Also, I would immediately secure the borders of this country." — Linda (Burlington, NC)

"No. If I knew that what I was doing what was right, then let others criticize. Doing what is right is not always popular. Being politically correct can sometimes be corrupt." — Patty (California)

"No, I would not be worried, because I would know that I was doing a great job under the present circumstances of domestic and international pressure. I would keep focused on what is best for the American people regardless of the approval rates, which are more than often manipulated by the media." — Manny

"More important than the polling result is the cause. President Bush’s poll numbers reflect the power and leverage of the media. In Portland, Oregon, Bush’s favorable poll numbers are just 22 percent. Consider that on the one hand, 68 percent of the U.S. population is without higher education, and on the other hand, consider that any substantive poll question requires a thoughtful, educated, experienced deliberative process, and you have your answer. If the citizenry believes they are duly informed, and therefore have weight regarding national policy, then the executive branch can be directed by popular opinion. You would not need a president, just votes by Internet or polling. So the real poll question should not be about one man’s performance, but more like, 'Should polling replace the executive branch?' If the answer is no, then Bush need not worry about his poll numbers; he needs to worry about the media. The challenge, then, is to counter media bias and present a fair and balanced report of key issues. This country needs to find its roots." — Ernest (Portland, OR)

“The president should not pay any attention to the polls. Who wants a president that bases their decisions on polls? Being a leader is not an easy thing, but a true leader knows what is right and makes decisions according to what law and good morals allows them to do.” — Noble

“If I were president, I would be concerned with doing what is right for the country and let history decide for itself. The question I would ask myself daily is, ‘How can the government best serve the people?’ Then, I’d make policy to serve that question. History is going to decide for itself, regardless of the approval rating. How can a government hierarchy serve the state when nearly all of them are disassociated with its people?” — Bob (Columbus, OH)

“If I were the president, I wouldn’t be too worried about the political polls, especially when those same polls show that the majority of people can’t find Iraq, Iran, or North Korea on a map. The polls also show that the public has very little knowledge of the constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the structure and responsibilities of the U.S. government. Those polls would show that the vast majority of people don’t know what is going on.” — Ed (Tucker, GA)

“If I were president, I would ignore the polls completely and do the right thing. What is good and right and necessary is seldom popular. So as long as you're making people unhappy, you might as well make them unhappy by doing what's right. Spend the time left in office (and especially the time before the midterm elections) pushing a strong conservative agenda through Congress. I would cut taxes, and cut them again. I would eliminate failed programs and secure the borders. I would protect marriage and unborn children, protect the American flag, and protect religious expression and displays in our schools, universities, and public buildings. I would protect the Pledge of Allegiance and our currency.” — Douglas

“I’d be concerned about my approval ratings. I’d start getting things right. On security, I’d address the border patrol along Mexico, and forget this felony issue until we can stop illegals from coming into this country. I’d get port security on the table, and I’d set a deadline for troop withdrawal from Iraq, unless I was going to invade Iran soon. I’d spend a week in New Orleans to make sure the needs of the region were being addressed, instead of going to Crawford, Texas for weeks. I would replenish, and maybe double, our oil reserves until the Iran issue was resolved. After that, I would not care about my approval ratings. I’d then tell Americans to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles, eat less and get out of credit card debt. Then I’d probably roll back the tax plan to pay for border and port security.” — Edward (Chicago, IL)

“Absolutely not. As president, I am still only one person that has an impact on anything. Since most approvals are based on emotional opinions (i.e. gas prices are high, don't have a job, or some other issue), it has to be somebody's fault, so blame whoever is in charge as the problem.” — Dennis (Rhode Island)

“Yes, I would be very concerned. With such an approval rating as Bush now has, I’d be looking and listening to opposing view points very carefully with an open mind to a better solution to the issues. As the president of the U.S., I’d be very sensitive to the wishes of the majority of the people, whether republican or democrat.” — Larry

“As president, with a little over two years left in office, I wouldn't worry about the polls. I would just do what I think is the best for the country and let history take care of itself.” — Lloyd (Missouri)

“Poll numbers change throughout a president’s term, and if you worry about poll numbers, you’re just worrying about being popular. I believe the only poll numbers that truly count are the ones they take decades after you’re out of office. If I were the president, I’d pick and choose my battles based on what’s important to me and what’s important to future of America — and that is its security and prosperity.” — Richard

“Yes, I would be concerned. Low approval ratings would indicate that I am losing the support of the American people. You cannot govern without this support. Depending on the issue, and if it was a core belief of mine, I would certainly listen to the people's advice. If it were against my core beliefs, then I would not change anything I was doing, but instead, try to explain it better. The majority is not always right, but as president, you must listen to the people and, in most cases, follow their wishes. If you are not able to so, he should resign, quit or forget about running for reelection.” — Charles (St. Cloud, FL)

“Politicians who rely on polls rarely get anything important accomplished. If I were president, I would view the polls for what they are — a gauge for measuring how successful politicians are at marketing. Polls are not a measurement of the people. With no election looming, I would take this opportunity to try and correct all the things that most politicians are afraid to tackle. I would work harder.” — John (Cleveland, OH)

“No, I wouldn't care that much about approval ratings if I were president. Being president isn't a popularity contest. If a president were as fickle as the general public and other politicians, nothing would get accomplished.” — Robert (Indiana)

“If I were president, I would not pay any attention to the numbers in the polls. Instead, I would pay attention to the questions asked, and then remember that these polls are not sent out to every voting citizen.” — Richard (Pennsylvania)

“I would be concerned, but I am not as confident and courageous as our current commander in chief. I believe he is doing the best job that can be done and I am proud of our president!” — Cheryl (Michigan)

“No, I would not worry about approval ratings taken in a poll. As president, the information that is made available to me gives a better picture of all dynamics involved in any given situation or circumstance. Thus, my decision as president may not be the most popular stance on any given subject. As president, my job does not concern winning a popularity contest, but instead, it concerns what I think are the best interests for my country.” — Craig (Huntington Beach, CA)

“I wouldn’t be concerned, but I would be disappointed in the fact that most people don’t even understand what they are unhappy about. They don’t ask questions, and they don’t follow the news by more than one venue. They are like sheep and just listen to the first words on any subject and form the same opinions their friends have. Unfortunately, as president, I can’t tell my constituents they are uninformed, so the only solution is to get out into the public arena and make speeches along with others in the administration with the hopes that the correct story does get out.” — Joyce

“If I were president, I would not be too overly concerned about my approval numbers or any poll numbers. Most people, especially today, have no idea what the president even does on a day-to-day basis, let alone what challenges he faces daily both domestically and abroad. Poll numbers reflect how people feel in the short term. Most people would never choose pain in the short term, regardless of the possible benefits in the long term. The president must be willing to sacrifice short-term comfort for long-term security, peace, and well being. Unfortunately, in today’s society, citizens want to be happy, safe, and satisfied right now. But the president needs to see the entire picture.” — Nate (Washington, D.C.)

“Listening to the polls is good, but at times when you are a leader you have to do what you know is right. I believe there are more people who do approve of our president than those who don’t. The ones who don’t are loud, and it makes it sound as if everyone disapproves.” — Jane

“I would continue to make decisions that I believe are in the country’s best interests and are morally correct. I would be urged to disregard the temptation to follow the polls and teach the American people how to look at world and domestic events with a long-term view.” — Kevin (Metairie, LA)

“As president, I would not be concerned with low approval ratings and public opinion polls. Our leaders should be individuals who do not only make the popular decision, but also make the unpopular decisions that they feel are in the best interest of our nation and the world. I would continue to make the decisions I feel are correct and those that effectively communicate my reasoning to the American public. History will determine a president’s success, not approval ratings.” — Richard (Arlington, VA)

“If I were president, I would not be concerned about poll numbers. The president of the U.S.A. is supposed to be a leader, and part of playing a leadership role is weighing any decision and deciding what is right…not what is popular.” — Eric

“I would not be a slave to polls. For one thing, it depends on whose poll it is, and the way the questions are asked. More importantly, I would have convictions and not let poll numbers be my guide.” — Judy (Fort Dodge, IA)

"Lincoln was elected to office by a percentage that just about equals Bush's present approval ratings; so it would seem that the historic measure of a president is not his approval ratings but rather how he makes tough decisions in the best interests of the country despite them (i.e., statesmanship). Unfortunately, Bush during the latter part of his presidency has fallen from the state of grace afforded statesman and is now acting like a typical politician (i.e., pandering to special interests, defending past actions, pushing partisan politics, and repeating catch phrases that have gone stale). If I were president, I would use the remaining years of my presidency to establish my legacy for the American people beyond the Iraqi War; i.e., making America independent from foreign oil. I would forget about the approval ratings and do the right things for the right reasons." — Ed (Redmond, WA)

"I would connect with all levels of the middle class through town hall meetings, through invitations to the White House, and going to factories, stores, restaurants, and reconnect with people that work very hard for incomes in the $20K to 80K range. I would cease making idle threats to the radical leaders of countries such as Iran, Venezuela, and Korea." — Jody (Omaha, NE)

"If I were the president I would most certainly be concerned with polls. Polls indicate the public's perception of the president's capacity to do his job. As an individual elected by the people, his duty is to serve the people - not his particular personal ideology, especially if a majority of people dislike that ideology. I would do whatever I could to keep the public that I am supposed to be a representative of supportive of me. This president doesn't seem concerned with anything but his personal desires." — Jon

"I would do nothing about the polls. Because I would know the majority of the American people participating in these polls do not know enough about the issues to even make a judgment. History will judge Bush well, not the knee jerk responses to poll questions by people who are more interested in American Idol than current events or history. I would not be a slave to the polls. Maybe, if I was desperate, I would consider having an affair with my intern. It certainly helped Clinton’s polls." — Chris

"As long as I felt, that I was doing everything in my power to do what was best for the American people, then I would not be concerned about the ratings. However, with the price of gas being probably the biggest contributor to his low ratings, I don’t think he puts enough distance between him and the big oil companies. He has to know that the rising cost of gas has and continues to be a hardship on the lower and middle class people in this country. Simply put, this is an issue he needs to come out on the side of the American people, and stay there until he gets something done about it." — Larry

"No, I would not pay attention to polls; however, I would listen to Congress because they are the ones that are suppose to represent the people. If I was told by them that my approval rating was low I would try to address the issues that created this lowered approval rating, that's all you can do- explain your actions to the country." — Sally

"Thinking like Bush, I wouldn't care about the polls because I wouldn't be here next term so I wouldn't care how bad I've messed things up for America." — Tim (Pinetop, AZ)

"If I were the president, I would go on vacation. That is what he is really good at." — Matthew

"I would stick to my guns, especially in the way polls are taken today; and I would push my party to stick to their guns also. What matters more is dignity and respect. The polls first of all have been proven to be incorrect. I would tell the president to ignore them and keep pushing ahead." — Steve (Bergenfield, NJ)