October 20, 2008 11:12 ET

Americans Say Obama and McCain Are Below Average Leaders

KNOXVILLE, TN--(Marketwire - October 20, 2008) - According to the website, Americans view both Barack Obama and John McCain as below average leaders. The latest results from the website show that Americans give Obama a slightly higher grade than McCain overall, but neither candidate scores better than "average" on a single leadership characteristic. is a leadership analysis tool created by Dr. Tom Heemstra, the founder and president of Mach 5 Leadership Performance.

"What this tells us goes well beyond the politics. The American people seem to have a different expectation of leadership than what either candidate has shown thus far," said Dr. Heemstra. "It amounts to the American people grading the candidates' leadership qualities and giving Obama a C- and McCain a D."

The assessment tool asks Americans to rate both candidates using a five-point scale in sixteen leadership characteristics and ten national issues. Dr. Heemstra created the assessment originally for corporate leadership analysis and configured the assessment for the election similar to the Sagarin football ratings.

"I thought it would be helpful to create a website where undecided voters could grade the candidates and get a clearer idea of which candidate was better for them," noted Heemstra. "What we now see, however, is that despite the conventions, debates and polls, the American people don't believe either candidate is better than an average leader."

Obama leads McCain on most of the leadership characteristics including honesty, fair-mindedness, intelligence, and competence and the political issues of education, health care and the environment. McCain leads Obama on national defense and personal courage.

"It's interesting to see the numbers dive further in the political issues. Both candidates are around a D grade on the issues, clearly indicating the American people want performance out of their elected leaders," said Heemstra. "Despite the outcome on November 4, the American people will elect a leader who they believe lacks strong leadership skills and control of some of the key issues." is a leadership tool created by Mach 5 Leadership Consulting. For more information visit

If you would like more information about, its results or an interview with Dr. Tom Heemstra, please contact Bill Seaver at (615) 473-0396 or email

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