Thursday, December 4, 2008

Agenda for New Leaders and the Future of Female Candidates

President-Elect Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton

"Hillary's appointment is a sign to friend and foe of the seriousness of my commitment to renew American diplomacy and restore our alliances."
~ President Elect Barack Obama.

3 Dec 2008 21:23 Africa/Lagos

New Lifetime Every Woman Counts Poll Sheds Light on Women's Reactions to Historic Presidential Election, Their Agenda for New Leaders and the Future of Female Candidates

The First 100 Days: Women Weigh in on the Issues They Want President-Elect Obama and the New Congress to Address; the Economy Trumps All

Vast Majority of Women Say Gender Shouldn't Matter in Cabinet Selections; but Women Approve of Clinton for Secretary of State

Next Vice President or the Next Top Model: Women Say Media Paid Too Much Attention to Palin and Clinton's Wardrobes and Not Enough to Their Policies

Despite Observing Unequal and Unfair Treatment of Women Candidates, Women Say Palin and Clinton's Runs Were a Dramatic Step Forward Toward Electing a Female President

NEW YORK, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its nonpartisan Every Woman Counts campaign to engage women in the political process, Lifetime Networks today announced the results of a national poll of women conducted by Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway of WomanTrend and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners. The poll, the fifth in the series of Lifetime surveys of women this year, provides an in-depth look at women's reaction to the historic presidential election and its impact on the future of female political leadership.

Highlights include:

The First 100 Days: Expectations of the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress:

-- When asked what one issue should be the key matter of concern for the
incoming Obama administration, fully 71% of American women said that
the economy should be number one. All other issues-including
education, Iraq, and healthcare-were granted single-digit importance.
-- In a subsequent question in which respondents were permitted to list
the other (multiple) issues for the President-elect and new Congress
to address, health care (33%) and Iraq and Afghanistan (32%) topped
the list and an additional 14% said the economy should be prime.
-- Three-in-five women said they trust Barack Obama to represent them and
the values they hold "a great deal" or "somewhat." Close to
three-in-ten (29%) said they only trust him "a little" or "not at
-- The plurality (35%) of women said they will know that Barack Obama is
attending to the needs of women if he addresses the issues related to
families and work-life balance while 22% said they will hold him
accountable based on the way he handles the economy. One-in-ten said
they will base their review of the Obama administration on whether he
deals with pay equity.
-- Women want politicians to reach across the aisle after being reminded
(or learning) that Washington is now a one-party city, seven-in-ten
women said that it is "good to have a bipartisan approach in
Washington." Only 23% thought it best for there to be "one party
controlling Washington."

Qualifications Trump Gender for Cabinet Selections; but Women Approve of Clinton as Top Diplomat:

-- Nearly seven-in-ten (67%) of women said that President-elect Obama
should not consider gender at all when appointing his Cabinet and
should focus just on qualifications, while 27% said he should try to
appoint an equal number of women and men.
-- Seventy-one percent support (51% definitely, 20% somewhat) the
nomination of Senator Clinton to be the next Secretary of State.
-- Women would rather that Senator Clinton becomes the top diplomat vs.
the commander-in-chief. Fifty-eight percent said that they would
prefer her to be Secretary of State, 18% prefer her to be President
and 18% said neither.

Women Anxious About the Economy:
-- A majority (51%) of women shared that the recent economic downturn has
affected them directly and an additional 16% expected it to hit them
in the future. The plurality (49%) of women said that the losses on
Wall Street have impacted them personally and 16% predicted that they
would be affected in the future.
-- Women were troubled both about their short-term and long-term economic
needs. When given a list of seven possible economic concerns that
could face their households, the plurality (38%) of women said that
they were most worried about the rising costs of energy, both in the
home and for their vehicles.
-- Three-in-ten (31%) of stay-at-homes and retirees say it is possible
that they will have to re-enter the workforce to cover household

Women Observed Unequal Treatment of Male and Female Candidates This Election Cycle:

-- Sixty-five percent of women -- majorities in every demographic and
political group -- said that male and female candidates are held to
different standards on the campaign trail. Just 29% thought
expectations are the same.
-- When given a list of four items it takes for a candidate to run for
office and win, women gave male candidates the edge on every item
-- Being taken seriously by the voters (79% Easier for a Male
Candidate, 5% Easier for a Female Candidate);
-- Being covered seriously by the media (71% Easier for a Male
Candidate, 9% Easier for a Female Candidate);
-- Address issues such as national security and terrorism (70% Easier
for a Male Candidate, 4% Easier for a Female Candidate); and
-- Address the issue of the economy (47% Easier for a Male Candidate,
14% Easier for a Female Candidate; 34% No Difference).

Women on Both Sides of the Aisle Say Media Coverage of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin Too Negative and Un-Substantive:

-- When asked to compare Clinton and Palin to the other candidates
running for office, 64% of women thought the coverage of Palin was
more negative than that of other candidates running for office.
-- Thirty-one percent of women said that Hillary Clinton's coverage was
relatively more negative, more than double the 14% who said the
coverage was more positive.
-- Seventy-nine percent of women said that there was too much coverage of
Sarah Palin's clothing and 44% said there was an over-abundance of
coverage of Hillary Clinton's wardrobe.
-- On the issues, one-half of women said there was too little reporting
on Sarah Palin's policy positions, 28% said the amount was just right,
and 16% said there was too much. The plurality (49%) of women thought
the coverage of Clinton's views was adequate and sufficient, 28% said
there was a deficiency, and 16% said there was an abundance.

Despite Negative Reflections on Election Season, Palin and Clinton Paved the Way for More Women to Run for Office:

-- By a margin of more than 12-to-1, women declared the 2008 election
cycle a "step forward" and not a "step backward" toward electing the
first female President of the United States.
-- Additionally, 93% of women said that the candidacies of Sarah Palin
and Hillary Clinton should encourage more women to run for office and
79% said their experiences made running for office more appealing.
More than nine-in-ten (92%) women agreed that "The fact that two women
from different political parties ran for President and Vice President
this year makes it more likely that more women will consider running
for office."
-- Women were especially positive about the impact of Sarah Palin and
Hillary Clinton on young women. Eighty-six percent of women said that
the young girls and women in their lives would be more likely to take
an interest in politics thanks to the experiences of these women.

The Women's Vote -- Issues Drove Their Decision, and a Desire to Make History:

-- A majority (57%) of women voters said that when they made their voting
decisions, they were most concerned with the candidate's positions on
the issues. Only 13% said they honed in a candidate's past
experience. Other factors of concern included values (9%), political
party/ideology (8%), and the message (6%).
-- Only 11% of women said that there was either a small or big part of
them that felt like they needed to vote for Barack Obama because he is
a racial minority. However, among those who cast ballots for the
Illinois Senator, 34% said that a part of their vote was based on a
desire to make history and elect the first African-American President
of the United States.
-- On the other ticket, only 9% of women said they felt a tug of
obligation to vote for Sarah Palin because she is a woman. However,
among McCain-Palin voters, 17% of respondents said that a part of
their vote was rooted in a desire to be a part of history and elect
the first female Vice President of the United States.

The Role of First Lady Michelle Obama:
-- When asked to consider their preferred role for Michelle Obama, in
light of her recent statements that she would make being a wife and
mother her first priority, 49% would like to see her get involved in a
few issues, while 38% say she should focus on being a wife and mother.
-- Among those who said she should address an issue, 33% would her to
work on education-related issues while 22% preferred that she tackle
work-life balance. Twelve percent thought her energies would be best
spent on healthcare.
-- There was a clear partisan divide, with 53% of Republican women saying
that Michelle Obama should be a wife and mother first and foremost,
compared to 41% of independent women and 25% of Democratic women.


WomanTrend, a division of the polling company(TM), inc., and Lake Research conducted the nationwide telephone poll of 600 American women. Interviews were conducted November 21-24, 2008 at a Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) facility using live callers. Sampling controls were used to ensure that a proportional and representative number of people were interviewed from such demographic groups as age, race and ethnicity, and region according to the most recent figures available from the U.S. Census Bureau and voter registration and turnout figures. The margin of error for the main sample is plus or minus 4.4% at a 95% confidence interval. Margins of error for subgroups are higher.

About Lifetime

LIFETIME is the leader in women's television and one of the top-rated basic cable television networks. A diverse, multimedia company, LIFETIME is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. LIFETIME Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women and Lifetime Digital (including are part of LIFETIME Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company.

Source: Lifetime Networks

CONTACT: Lindsay Drewel, +1-301-312-8863, or; or Geralyn Lucas, +1-212-424-7066, or

18:55 Mantl: "Hillary Clinton's Outstanding Personality is a Good Prospect for a New American Foreign Policy"
17:20 RNC: Clinton vs. Obama on Foreign Policy RNC: Clinton vs. Obama on Foreign Policy

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