Americans Say U.S. Is Ready For Female President, Poll Says
POSTED: 1:12 pm EST February 22, 2005
ALBANY, N.Y. -- More than six in 10 voters believe the United States is ready for a woman president in 2008 and 53 percent of the voters think Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a New York Democrat, should try for the job, a nationwide poll has found.
The poll, conducted by the Siena College Research Institute and sponsored by the Hearst Newspapers, found that 81 percent of voters surveyed would vote for a woman for president; 62 percent said the country is ready for a woman president; and 67 percent said a female president would be better than a male chief executive in handling domestic issues.
Other national polls have identified the former first lady as the favorite among Democratic voters for the party's presidential nomination. In the Siena poll, 60 percent of voters said they expect a woman to be on the Democratic ticket for president in 2008. Only 18 percent of voters said they expected the 2008 Republican ticket to be headed by a woman.
The telephone poll of 1,125 registered voters was conducted Feb. 10-17 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The poll results were first reported in Monday's editions of Times Union of Albany, a Hearst newspaper.
"There was very little difference between men (64 percent) and woman (60 percent) on whether the country was ready for a woman president in 2008," said Douglas Lonnstrom, director of the Albany-area research institute.
While voters surveyed said a woman president would be better on domestic issues, there was no such advantage on who would do a better job as "commander in chief" - 18 percent said a woman would do better on that aspect of the job, 23 percent said a woman would do worse and 45 percent said gender wouldn't make a difference. On foreign policy issues, 24 percent said a woman president would do better; 11 percent said worse; and 52 percent said the president's gender didn't matter.
The Albany-area pollsters found that 37 percent of voters felt Clinton should not run for president.
On the Republican side, 42 percent of voters said U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice should run for the White House while 41 percent said she should not and 33 percent said Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina should run for president while 48 percent said she should not do that.
In 2000, Clinton became the first woman ever elected, on her own, to statewide office in New York when she won the Senate seat vacated by fellow Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Three women have been elected lieutenant governor in New York, but only as part of a governor-lieutenant governor ticket.