updated 2/23/2006 8:47:49 AM ET 2006-02-23T13:47:49

Two-thirds of Americans believe Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will run for president, but only one-third believe she can win, according to a national poll released Wednesday.

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Almost 80 percent said they don't think Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a Republican, could win the White House either.

Gender is a factor, pollster Lee Miringoff said.

"It looks like whether you treat them together or separately, it would certainly be an uphill fight for either of them, and clearly part of that has to do with a continuing reluctance on the part of a large number of American voters to think in terms of a woman in the White House," said Miringoff, the head of Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion.

Twenty-seven percent of voters said they were not likely to vote for a woman candidate in 2008 no matter which party ticket she headed, according to the poll sponsored by WNBC-TV in New York City. Of that 27 percent, almost one-third said they wouldn't back a female candidate because "women are not up to the job" while 10 percent said it was because the presidency is "a man's job."

Clinton mum on plans
Clinton has not said if she will run for president in 2008, maintaining that her focus is on re-election this year. Rice has said she has no interest in running for president.

As with other national polls, Clinton led the list of potential contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination. She had the support of 33 percent of potential primary voters in the WNBC/Marist poll to 17 percent for former Vice President Al Gore, 16 percent for John Edwards and 11 percent for John Kerry. No other Democrat broke into double digits.

On the Republican side, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was favored by 28 percent of possible GOP primary voters while Sen. John McCain of Arizona had the support of 24 percent. Other potential Republican contenders were in single digits.

The poll had McCain beating Clinton, 52 percent to 42 percent, while the former first lady and Giuliani were running about even.

Thirty-six percent of voters said they liked Clinton more than they did two years ago, but 33 percent said they liked her less.

Marist's telephone poll of 931 registered voters was conducted Feb. 13 and Feb. 15 and had a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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