Poll: Clinton's Run Opens Doors For Women

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., speaks to supporters at her Montana and South Dakota primary night event in New York, Tuesday, June 3, 2008. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Hillary Clinton's campaign as the first serious female contender for the Democratic presidential nomination represents a shattering of the glass ceiling in presidential politics, a new CBS News poll shows. Most voters think that win or lose, her candidacy will make it easier for other women to run for president.

Sixty percent of men and 76 percent of women agree that Clinton's candidacy will make it easier for future women to run for president.

The historic nature of Clinton's candidacy is reflected in the bipartisan nature of voters' views on this question. Seventy-five percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Republicans think her campaign will make it easier for females to run in the future.

Voters embrace the concept of a woman as a serious presidential candidate, as 88 percent agree with the statement "I am glad to see a woman as a serious contender for president." This is a more widespread welcome than what Geraldine Ferraro received when she became the first female vice presidential candidate representing a major U.S. political party in 1984. A CBS News/New York Times Poll that year found that 62 percent of voters agreed they were "glad that a woman was nominated as vice president."

Sixty-three percent of voters would like to see a woman become president in their lifetime. More women (69 percent) than men (57 percent) said they would like to see a female commander-in-chief.

Sixty-nine percent of voters think it is likely that there will be a woman president in their lifetime. Seventy-nine percent of voters under age 45 say this possibility is likely, while just 44 percent of those 65 and older say it is.

Nearly half of voters (45 percent) think the media has been harder on Clinton than they have been on other candidates. Sixty-seven percent of those who think the media has been harder on Clinton feel that it's at least somewhat the result of her gender.

Read The Complete Poll



This poll was conducted among a random sample of 798 adults nationwide, including 712 registered voters, interviewed by telephone May 30-June 2, 2008. Phone numbers were dialed from RDD samples of both standard land-lines and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher. The error for the sample of registered voters is plus or minus four points.
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