Clinton candidacy sparks women's interest - poll

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NEW YORK, Nov 8 (Reuters) Most American women remain uncommitted on a choice of a presidential candidate, but nearly one in four say they are more interested in the 2008 race than usual because a woman is running, a poll said.

One in four was more likely to vote because Sen Hillary Clinton is in the contest, said the survey of more than 1,000 women for Lifetime Network, a cable network with programming aimed at women yesterday.

Of those, about two-thirds said they would vote for Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, and the remaining third would vote against her.

Seven per cent said they would not vote for any female presidential candidate.

Of those polled, 23 per cent said they were paying more attention to the election in November 2008, when Americans will choose a successor to President George W Bush, because a woman is among the major candidates.

Seventy-seven per cent were not yet committed to any candidate, but 82 per cent said they were definitely or probably voting in the election.

According to 39 per cent of the women, this election is more important than previous ones, the poll showed.

Of the women who said they were Democrats and committed to a candidate, 70 per cent backed Clinton and 16 per cent supported Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.

Among Republicans, 22 per cent backed former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and 20 per cent chose former Arkansas Gov Mike Huckabee. Former Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney and former Sen Fred Thompson of Tennessee tied at 12 per cent.

Women who said they did not vote in the 2004 presidential election cited busy schedules as the top reason, followed by feeling like their votes would not make a difference and not knowing enough about the candidates or issues, the poll said.

The poll was conducted by Opinion Research Corp by telephone nationwide among a sample of 1,003 adult women from October 25-28.

Lifetime is part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, a joint venture of The Hearst Corp. and The Walt Disney Co.

REUTERS GT ND0920

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