A nationwide poll of voters has found that more than six in 10 voters believe the United States is ready for a female president. The poll, conducted by the Siena College Research Institute and sponsored by Hearst Newspapers, found that an even greater majority of 81 percent said they would vote for a woman for president whether the country is ready or not.
“The results are fascinating and very encouraging for women – and all Americans who want the nation’s highest office held by the best people, regardless of their gender,” said Dr. Douglas Lonnstrom, director of the Siena Research Institute, in a press statement. Marie Wilson, president of The White House Project, a group whose goal is to put more women into leadership positions, states, “I can tell you from our work that there’s a different kind of reality to these polls than there was when we started six years ago. There’s been a national conversation about there being a woman president, and there are actually women who have been willing,” reports Newsday. In a recent Women’s E-news commentary, Wilson asserted, “We will have a woman as president in my lifetime.”
The respondents were asked to choose the woman they felt would make the best candidate from a list of four prominent women in politics. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) prevailed as the voter favorite with 53 percent of the vote. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice placed a strong second with 42 percent, while Senators Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) had 33 and 13 percent of the vote, respectively.
The poll found that 60 percent of voters expect a woman to be the Democrats’ nominee for president in 2008, while in contrast, only 18 percent expect a female Republican nominee. Respondents were also confident that a female candidate would provide better healthcare and education. “Overwhelmingly, American voters think that a woman president would be better on domestic issues than a man president,” Lonnstrom said in the institute’s press release. “But even more interesting is that more people think that a woman would be better than a man on foreign policy issues and by only a very small margin do voters think that a male president would be better than a female as commander-in-chief.”