The continuing guessing game over whether or not Hillary Clinton will run for office took an interesting turn today with a new poll suggesting that her gender is the number one reason why voters would chose her for president.
According to a mid-March Gallup poll, 18 percent of Americans surveyed said the prospect of Clinton being the first female president is the most positive reason for her presidency, reports Tal Kopan at Politico. The second most positive factor given is her foreign policy expertise and political experience; following closely behind, eight percent highlighted the change she would bring from the Obama administration.
Gallup refers to Clinton’s potential history-making as the first female president as her “unique selling proposition.” A 2007 poll showed similar results, with Americans more likely to cite Clinton’s gender than other positive factors.
Clinton has essentially created the first endless political campaign; without a concrete answer, voters might as well just assume that she’s running until she officially says no. But her ubiquitous presence in the public eye also means that the media have had to fill the gaps, continuing to cover her by employing, let's just say, creative means. The recent release of never-before-seen documents from the Clinton Presidential Library has further encouraged futile digging into the collective Clinton past for the elusive bite of a story, but the best thing to do for now is forever forget the Planet Hillary meme.
The prospect of a female president is also one of the many negative reasons given by Hillary detractors, which appear to have been taken directly from the pages of the Hillary Clinton Conspiracy Handbook. Of course there’s Benghazi: 2 percent say that her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack is the worst things about a Clinton presidency. And then her gender, which will always be both a blessing and a curse, with 1 percent of respondents declaring that the country isn’t ready for a female president. Two percent said Clinton being too liberal and “a Socialist” was the most negative aspect of her potential presidency.
Like her gender, the looming shadow of Bill Clinton was brought up by both sides. While her husband's expertise could bolster Hillary in the White House, his return to the American presidency, even in a First Husband capacity, is too much of a recurring nightmare for some people to handle. Hillary's “personal baggage” was another ominous negative choice.
Interestingly, the majority of people on either side of the debate actually had no opinion or no answer on the best and worst aspects of a potential Clinton presidency. Gallup says that’s because the majority of Republicans don’t have any thoughts on what the best thing about a Clinton presidency might be, while a majority of Democrats don’t have “specific responses to the question about the worst aspects of a Clinton presidency.”
For the poll, Gallup surveyed 1,024 adults from March 15-16. The poll has an error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.