ROCK HILL, S.C. - The latest Winthrop Poll showed that an overwhelming number of South Carolinians said they could vote for either a black or female for president, according to Winthrop University researchers.
Two of the Democratic Party frontrunners in the 2008 presidential race are New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. Among state residents, 82.6 percent said they could vote for a woman for president, while 90.2 percent gave a positive response regarding voting for an African American for president.
“While an overwhelming majority indicated that a candidate being female or black wouldn’t deter them from voting for that person, the nearly 8 percent fewer South Carolinians who say they could vote for a woman gives one pause,” said Scott Huffmon, director of both Winthrop’s research lab and the Winthrop Poll initiative.
“It is likely however, that this is an artifact of the awareness on the part of the respondent that Hillary Clinton is likely to be the woman. In fact, if you look at willingness to vote for a female president by favorability of Hillary Clinton, you see a very strong trend. The less favorably the view Hillary Clinton, the more likely they are to report that they would not vote for a female presidential candidate.”
The Winthrop Poll for Spring 2007 was conducted from Winthrop’s telephone survey research lab between Feb. 7 and Feb. 28, with 694 randomly selected South Carolinians ages 18 and up. The results have a margin of error of plus/minus 3.72 percent.
The S.C. Democratic presidential primary is set for Jan. 29 next year, and the Republicans tentatively planning to hold their contest on Feb. 2.
The Winthrop Poll also asked residents about the economy, technology, general politics, religious and moral issues, and trust and efficacy.
For more information on the Winthrop Poll, contact Huffmon at 803/323-4669.