Is the U.S. ready to elect a president who is a woman?

    After Senator John McCain chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate on Friday, August 29, 2008, self-identified Republicans and Independents are significantly more likely to think that the United States is ready to elect a president who is a woman, according to the National Annenberg Election Survey.
     
    The findings, released today, are based on across-time analyses of the 10 days prior (8-19-2008 to 8-28-2008; N=2,238) and 10 days after (8-29-2008 to 9-7-2008; N=2,319) Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain announced Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Governor Palin is the first woman the Republican Party has nominated to run on a national ticket.
     
    The percent of Republicans thinking that the U.S. is ready to elect a president who is a woman jumped almost 10 percent (9.7%) after the introduction of Governor Sarah Palin while independents jumped 8.4 percent (See Table 1 & Figure 1). Both increases are statistically significant. There is a not a statistically significant shift among Democrats on this question.
     
    Data for this study were collected between August 1 and September 7, 2008 from 8,974 adults in the United States. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 1.0 percentage point for the sample overall. For subsamples within the study, the margins of sample error are larger, depending on the sample sizes of the groups being analyzed.