Polling Shows Americans Believe Women Politicians Are More Trustworthy and Ethical
Author: LIFETIME Television
Published on Jan 4, 2007 - 8:29:00 AM

With the historic swearing-in of the first woman Speaker of the House, and a record number of women in their newly elected positions in the House and Senate and local legislatures, Americans are eyeing whether the scandal-ridden 109th Congress will be a thing of the past and buzzing about the implications for the 2008 presidential campaign. With at least one woman seriously considering a run for the White House, a Lifetime Television "Every Woman Counts"/REDBOOK Magazine poll conducted among a nationally represented sample of more than 1,000 adults shows that Americans may be more open than ever to women's leadership and more trusting of women candidates. Specifically:

Women Rule When it Comes to Trust and Ethics:

* Women are perceived to be "trustworthy" more than three times as much as men (21% for women vs. 6% for men). "Trustworthy" was cited by both women and men as the top quality for electing a political leader.

* Women also were thought to be more "ethical" than men, the second most critical quality cited when choosing a leader. And four-in-ten respondents thought a man was more likely to be the subject of a scandal.

* Roughly one-third of adults said they are more likely to vote in an election where there's a female candidate; are more likely to believe promises made by a female candidate; and more likely to pay attention to political ads featuring a female candidate.

Today, Madam Speaker; Tomorrow Madam President:

* A majority of adults said that a woman will be elected president by the year 2016.

* In just two years, the percentage of adults who think a woman will be elected president in 2008 nearly doubled (8% in 2004 vs. 15% in 2006).

Women Still Have Ground to Gain:
* Perhaps the harshest critics of women leaders are women themselves -- one-in-five women, across party lines, said that "women are not as effective as men when it comes to politics."

* Of the two top election issues cited -- the war in Iraq and jobs/the economy -- men were deemed better than women at addressing both. (Interestingly, reproductive rights of women was cited as the most important issue when choosing a political leader by only 2% of women and men, and stem cell research by only 4%.)

* Though less than in 2004, still roughly 10% of adults think there will never be a woman president.

And on a Lighter Note:
* When asked which presidential daughter would be most likely to run for nationally elected office in 2020, Chelsea Clinton was the overwhelming choice (43%), far out-pacing Caroline Kennedy (20%) and both Bush twins, Barbara Bush (10%) and Jenna Bush (6%).

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