More women want to carpool with Obama than McCain

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Women would rather carpool or go on vacation with Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama than with his Republican rival John McCain, a new poll of U.S. women voters showed on Tuesday.

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) greets supporters after a speech at the Victory Column in Tiergarten Park in Berlin July 24, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Young

The poll showed Obama holds a strong lead among all women voters but McCain polls better with white women, seniors and stay-at-home moms.

“There’s no question that Senator Obama wins the likability contest,” said pollster Kellyanne Conway, adding that those who like Obama cited his personal attributes, while those who like McCain cited his experience and qualifications.

The poll, commissioned by Lifetime Network as part of its “Every Woman Counts” campaign to engage women in politics, showed Obama leading McCain by 49 percent to 38 percent.

“The race for women is not decided yet,” said pollster Celinda Lake, noting that 10 percent were undecided.

Asked who they would prefer to carpool with, 51 percent said Obama and 31 percent picked McCain. Asked if they would rather go on a summer vacation with the Obama family or the McCain family, 49 percent picked the Obamas and 26 percent the McCains. Eighteen percent said neither.

Asked who they planned to vote for in November, Obama led in all age groups except the over-65s, where McCain led by 46 percent to 37 percent. Women were split on racial lines, with blacks picking Obama by 89 percent to 4 percent and Hispanics by 62 percent to 21 percent. White women favored McCain by 47 percent to 38 percent.

Obama, who would be the first black U.S. president, led among professionals, white collar and blue collar workers, part time workers and retired women. The only occupation category where McCain led was “stay home,” 51 percent to 34 percent.

Both candidates have been competing for supporters of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton who may be angry or disappointed at her failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Asked who they voted for in the primary elections or caucus, 29 percent said they voted for Obama, 15 percent for McCain and 21 percent for Clinton, who would have been the first woman president of the United States.

Of those who voted for Clinton, 76 percent said they would vote for Obama while 18 percent would vote for McCain.

Asked when they expect a woman to be elected president, 44 percent said it could happen within eight years. Three in 10 said they still believe Clinton will be the first female U.S. president, even though she lost the nomination this year.

The national poll of 500 women was conducted on July 25-29 and the margin of error was 4.4 percent.

Editing by Michelle Nichols and David Wiessler