Barack Obama won the presidency, in part, by growing the gender gap for Democratic presidential candidates.
And a new poll out today shows he has a deep reservoir of goodwill among women as he prepares to start his administration.
The survey conducted for Lifetime networks found that 60 percent of women said they trust Obama to represent them and the values they hold "a great deal" or "somewhat." Also, 35 percent of women said Obama would address the needs of women if he tackles family and work-life balance issues, while 22 percent said they will hold him accountable based on how he handles the economy, which 71 percent said is the top priority, while 10 percent said they will base their review of the Obama administration on whether he deals with pay equity.
According to exit polls, women made up 53 percent of voters nationwide on Nov. 4, and Obama won among them 56 percent to 43 percent.
The poll released today was conducted by WomanTrend and Lake Research Nov. 21-24 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
Among other findings:
-- 67 percent said that Obama should not consider gender when picking his cabinet and should focus just on qualifications, while 27 percent said he should try to appoint an equal number of women and men. Also, 71 percent support the nomination of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state -- and 58 percent said that they prefer her to be in that job rather than president, while 18 percent said they prefer her to be commander in chief.
-- 49 percent said they would like to see Michelle Obama get involved in a few issues, while 38 percent say she should focus on being a wife and mother.
-- 93 percent said that the candidacies of Sarah Palin and Clinton should encourage more women to run for office and 79 percent said their experiences made running for office more appealing.
-- Only 9 percent of women said they felt obligated to vote for Palin because she is a woman. However, among McCain-Palin voters, 17 percent said they partly wanted to elect the first female vice president.
Despite the high-profile selection of Clinton as secretary of state, a women's advocacy group today tweaked Obama for picking seven men and three women so far for the 21 cabinet-level positions -- a pace it said was behind former Presidents Clinton and Bush and possibly even George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.
“We’re in the third inning and the men’s team is beating the women 70 percent-30 percent It looks like a real outside chance for the women of this country to catch up to the 1990s when President Clinton had 47 percent women in his first cabinet,” Amy Siskind, co-founder of The New Agenda, said in a statement.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.