The Next National Chief Executive Officer survey, conducted by PDI Ninth House, found members of each political party chose a different trait as the most important.
The first choice for Democrats was to ensure a strong global position, something the Republicans ranked as No. 10 and Independents ranked it as No. 3.
Republican's first choice was trustworthiness, which Democrats and Independents both ranked as No. 2, while Independent's wanted a president to exercise financial discipline, something Democrats ranked as No. 10 and Republicans ranked as No. 2.
"There is an enormous difference between the weight Democrats put on global positioning versus Republicans," Dave Heine, executive vice president in charge of PDI Ninth House's board, said in a statement. "Which candidate earns the Independents' vote -- will be critical to election results."
About 500 participated in the survey. They were asked to rank 17 leadership traits. No margin of error was provided.