Editor’s Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight a fundamental flaw with the survey. Because of how the questions were asked, poll takers did not encourage respondents to consider all the variables in an election — only how things are at face value.
Hillary Clinton is, at the moment, the most viable female presidential candidate going into 2016. More than that, she is at the top of polls among any potential contender — Republican or Democrat — in the 2016 presidential race. As 77 percent of those who responded to Rasmussen’s telephone survey said there is some degree of likelihood that we will have a female president in the next decade, this would indicate that they would then agree that there is a likelihood that Hillary Clinton will be this president based on their response.
According to the report from Rasmussen, the number of people who believe there is some degree of likelihood that we will have a female president in the next decade has risen 17 percentage points from December 2006 when Clinton was considered the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Today, however, there are no candidates that can use political celebrity within the Democratic Party to challenge her and many Democrats are already getting behind her nomination.
The results of the Rasmussen poll also revealed that only 18 percent of survey takers believe it is unlikely that we will have a female president in the immediate future.
Consider the timing of the poll and the statistical probability of a president being re-elected to a second term. One question asked pertained to the likelihood of there being a female president within the next decade — 10 years from now being 2024. If the next president serves 2 terms, which the last 3 presidents did (or are currently), 2024 would be the final year of his or her second term. Therefore, either the questions in the survey are poorly constructed or an overwhelming majority of respondents would say it is likely we will inaugurate President Hillary Clinton in 2017.