By Brian Braiker
Large majorities report a willingness to vote for either a woman or an African-American candidate for the office, according to the latest NEWSWEEK Poll.
Although 92 percent of the NEWSWEEK Poll’s respondents claim they would vote for a black candidate (up from 83 percent in 1991), only 59 percent believe the country is actually ready for an African-American president (an improvement over 37 percent in a 2000 CBS News poll). Similarly, 86 percent of voters say they would vote for a female commander in chief, but only 58 percent believe the country is ready for one (up from 40 percent in a 1996 CBS poll). Two thirds (66 percent) of voters said there was at least some chance they’d vote for Democratic Sen. Barack Obama (35 percent said there was a “good” chance, up from 20 percent last May). About as many (62 percent) said there was some chance they’d vote for Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton (43 percent said good chance, up from 33 percent). In a head-to-head race, though, Clinton dominates Obama 56 to 33 percent.