And we've known Gov. Palin for three days and Sen. Clinton for--let me think--20 years? Very interesting isn't it?
Voters by a substantial majority think a woman is likely to be elected president of the United States in the next 10 years, and nearly half (48%) think Hillary Clinton is at least somewhat likely to be the one.
But not if men have their way. In a head-to-head match-up, they prefer Sarah Palin over Clinton 49% to 45% according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Women prefer the former first lady over Palin 57% to 35%.
Voters overall give Clinton the nod 52% to 41% (crosstabs available for Premium Members).
Palin, only the second woman to be on a major national party ticket, will be the focus of all eyes Wednesday night when she speaks to the Republican National Convention, her first major address since John McCain chose the Alaska governor as his running mate on Friday.
Voters initially responded slightly more favorably to her selection than Barack Obamaâ€™s choice of Delaware Senator Joseph Biden to be his vice president. It is unclear, however, how those numbers will be impacted by the bitter personal attacks Democrats and some in the media have been making against the politically conservative mother of five since Fridayâ€™s announcement. Her speech is increasingly considered a watershed moment.
In the new survey, 85% of voters say they are willing to vote for a woman for president, while only nine percent (9%) disagree and seven percent (7%) are undecided. Ironically, men are more willing to vote for a woman president than women voters by a 89% to 81% margin. These specific numbers may be impacted by the specifics of which woman is on the national ticket this year and which woman is not.
When asked if a woman is likely to be elected to the White House in the next 10 years, 84% say it is at least somewhat likely, with 36% saying it is Very Likely.
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McCain chose Palin largely because of her pro-family credentials and her reputation as a reformer in Alaska willing to take on corruption in her own party. But GOP strategists also were clearly hoping she can win over Democratic women voters unhappy that Clinton was bested by Obama for the partyâ€™s presidential nomination. In her comments Friday after McCainâ€™s announcement and in speeches since, Palin has complimented Clinton for her historic effort to break the presidential â€śglass ceiling.â€ť
Nationally, after weeks of running neck-and-neck with McCain in the Rasmussen daily Presidential Tracking Poll, Obama has begun to pull away in recent days. It will take another week or so to determine if the Republican convention can overcome the bounce Obama received from his convention in Denver.
Only 38% say it is even somewhat likely that Palin will become the first woman president, including 12% who believe is Very Likely. But 54% believe she is not likely to be elected to the White House, and 22% say it is Not at all likely.
Overall, 48% say Clinton is somewhat likely to be the first woman president, including 14% who believe it is Very Likely. Forty-eight percent (48%) also say Clinton is not likely to win that honor.
Democrats and Republicans agree on their willingness to vote for a woman for president and the belief that a woman candidate will be elected in the next 10 years. But they split on predictable partisan lines when Clinton and Palin are introduced into the equation.
In the head-to-head match-up, 87% of Democrats support Clinton, while 85% of GOP voters support Palin. Unaffiliated voters go for Clinton 48% to 39%.
White voters are evenly divided at 47% each between the two candidates, but African-Americans prefer Clinton by a whopping 83% to eight percent (8%) margin.
Ninety-two percent (92%) of those who plan to vote for Obama like Clinton over Palin in a presidential race, with only three percent for the Republican. McCain voters are only slightly less partisan, with 81% for Palin versus 12% for Clinton.
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