May 9, 2007

Are Americans Ready to Elect a Female President?

Past Statewide Elections Suggest Gender Is Not an Obstacle -- at Least for Democratic Candidates
by Andrew Kohut, President, Pew Research Center

When evaluating Sen. Hillary Clinton’s 2008 prospects, one question remains inescapable: Are voters ready to elect a female president? On one level, the question would appear to be settled. In February, Gallup found 88% saying they would vote for a well-qualified woman for president. Contrast this with public opinion in 1969, the year Clinton graduated from Wellesley College. At that time, just 53% said they would support a well-qualified female presidential candidate.

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