A new poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa shows the state is ready to play a historic role in helping to elect a woman to the White House in 2016, the president of EMILY's List said Thursday.
The poll, which involved voters in Iowa and eight other battleground states, said there was near unanimous willingness to vote for a woman for president, as well as a high number who think it is somewhat or very likely a woman will win in 2016.
Stephanie Schriock, the president of the group that advocates for electing Democratic, pro-choice women, said the figures are striking and the country is poised for change.
"This is going to change very, very quickly," she said in an interview Thursday. "We're already seeing it in the numbers. And that's why I think we've got a really good opportunity here to have Iowa lead the way on nominating the first woman presidential candidate in the Democratic Party."
EMILY's List is in the state today for a town hall meeting in Des Moines, part of its "Madam President" initiative. Schriock and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., are participating.
Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson, a longtime political reporter, is the moderator.
EMILY's List backed Hillary Clinton's bid for president in 2008. The former secretary of state has not said whether she'll run in 2016, but polls say she would be the clear front-runner for the party's nomination if she did.
This new poll, which was conducted of 800 voters, said 96 percent said they would consider voting for a woman if their party nominated one for president. Seventy-two percent said it is somewhat or very likely the next president will be a woman.
The poll was conducted for EMILY's List from April 3-9. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
In Iowa, an additional 100 likely Democratic caucus-goers were polled, and 96 percent said they would consider voting for a woman. Eighty-five percent said it is somewhat or very likely that a woman will be the next president. The margin of error in Iowa was plus or minus 9.8 percentage points.
The 2016 presidential caucuses are 2½ years away, but activity in the state already is percolating. Republicans have been particularly active, with this weekend's summit by the conservative group the Family Leader drawing potential 2016 hopefuls, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and real estate mogul Donald Trump.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also had made recent stops in the state.
There has been less activity on the Democratic side, as much of the early attention has focused on guessing whether Clinton will run.
Schriock, whose mother is from Mason City and still has family there, noted Iowa has never elected a woman to federal office, but she wants to change that in 2014.
EMILY's List, she said, has fully endorsed former state Sen. Staci Appel, who intends to challenge Rep. Tom Latham, a Republican who represents Iowa's 3rd District.
Schriock also said that the group is considering getting involved in Iowa's 1st District congressional race, where three women are among candidates for the Democratic Party's nomination.