Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Most Americans lack confidence in leaders - poll


Most Americans lack confidence in leaders - poll

BOSTON (Reuters) - Seventy-three percent of Americans lack confidence in their leaders and a majority believe the country would be better off with more women in power, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The survey by Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and the U.S. News & World Report also showed that 66 percent of Americans believe the United States faces a leadership crisis.

The release of the poll comes as President George W. Bush is struggling to stem a slide in popularity caused by the slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq war and soaring gasoline prices.

The nationwide telephone survey of 1,374 adults, taken from September 13 to September 23, covered all levels of U.S. leaders -- from the White House to Congress and state and local governments.

It showed that 65 percent of Americans are upbeat about the future of the country's leadership and expect better leaders in the future.

The poll also showed that 64 percent believe the country would be better off if more women occupied leadership positions, and perhaps surprisingly more men than women believe this -- 69 percent to 61 percent.

"It's a wake-up call to leaders who enter the public sector," said Todd Pittinsky, assistant professor of public policy at the Kennedy School.

The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.8 percent.