At the kickoff of a six-figure campaign to elect America's first female president in 2016, Emily's List President Stephanie Schriock addressed the question on everybody's mind: Will Hillary Clinton run?
"There is one name that seems to be getting mentioned more than others," Schriock told reporters at the National Press Club Thursday. "We do not know if Hillary is going to run. But we're hopeful that she may."
Schriock, whose group (the name stands for "Early Money Is Like Yeast") works to get pro-choice Democratic women elected to office at the local, state and federal levels, noted there are other women who could run for president in 2016, but that she believes Clinton currently has the best chance to win.
"I think it’s clear if she decides to take this on, she’s in an incredible position," Schriock said in response to a reporter's question. "[But] for us, it’s not about one particular candidate."
Emily's List's effort—which will utilize its network of 2 million members—is called the "Madam President Campaign." It will focus on battleground states such as Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire, and will include town hall meetings, online events, ads and Internet engagement.
The group says it's armed with data commissioned from political pollsters Anzalone Liszt Grove Research that shows America has reached a "tipping point" and is ready to see a woman as president.
According to the poll, conducted April 3-9, 86 percent of battleground voters in Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina believe the U.S. is ready to elect a woman as president. Nine percent of respondents said America is not ready, and 5 percent were unsure.
Seventy-two percent of those surveyed believe it's likely America will elect a woman as president next cycle, and 24 percent percent say it's unlikely.
At the news conference, Schriock and the pollsters said the polling suggests more voters feel a female president would do a better job at, among other things, bridging partisan politics, and would better understand the challenges facing the middle class. Eighteen percent of respondents said a woman would be better at ending partisan bickering and 6 percent said a man would be better, according to the polling data.
(The data not noted at the conference, shows that a whopping 74 percent of respondents said that overall gender didn't make a difference on ending partisanship, and the same was true for understanding the middle class.)
The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Schriock also noted that the fact that a historic number of women were elected to office in 2012 is evidence of America's readiness for a female president.
Having a female perspective in the nation's highest office, Schriock emphasized, will be helpful to all: “We really want to ignite this national conversation about how it is going to be beneficial to all Americans to see a woman in the White House."
Schriock on Thursday publicly asked polling firms to conduct research on potential female candidates for president as way to drive the conversation about having a woman in office and grant greater visibility to the available bench of female candidates.
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- Hillary Clinton