More than six in 10 voters say they believe the United States is ready for a female president (search), a poll found.

The poll, conducted by the Siena College Research Institute and sponsored by Hearst Newspapers, also found that 81 percent of people surveyed would vote for a woman for president and 53 percent think New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (search) should try for the job.

Other polls have identified the former first lady as the voters' favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination.

On the Republican side, 42 percent of voters said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (search) should run for the White House and 33 percent named North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole (search).

The pollsters found about 60 percent of voters said they expect a woman to be the Democrats' nominee for president in 2008. In contrast, they found 18 percent expected the Republican ticket to be headed by a woman.

New York GOP Chairman Stephen Minarik said the widespread belief that Clinton will run for the job has caused many voters to think a woman will head the Democrats' 2008 ticket.

About 67 percent of those polled said a female president would be better than a male on domestic issues, but only 24 percent said a woman president would do better on foreign policy issues.

The telephone poll of 1,125 registered voters was conducted Feb. 10-17 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The results were first reported Monday in the Times Union of Albany.