WASHINGTON (CNN) - American women tend to have a more sympathetic view of Martha Stewart than do men, but respondents of both genders do not feel she was treated unfairly because she is a successful woman, a national poll said Thursday.
Stewart, who was convicted a year ago on criminal charges related to her late 2001 sale of ImClone Systems stock, has spent the past five months in prison. She is due to be released Sunday but, because her release date falls on a weekend, prison officials can release her as early as Friday.
The CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll of 1,008 American adults found that 57 percent of women said they feel sympathetic to Stewart, versus 37 percent of men.
Sixty percent of men and 42 percent of women said they have an unsympathetic view of Stewart.
The poll, carried out Feb. 25-27, has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.5 percentage points.
Asked whether they believe Stewart is being treated unfairly because she is a successful woman, 71 percent of men and 57 percent of women said no.
The sampling error for that question was plus-or-minus 6 percentage points.
Another CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, taken Feb. 4 - 6, found that more than half (53 percent) of respondents -- men and women -- gave Stewart a favorable rating, versus just a third (33 percent) who said they felt that way in 2003, and 30 percent the year before.
In 2001, 49 percent of Americans said they had a favorable opinion of her.
The margin of error in the early February poll was plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.
Stewart founded and led Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the lifestyle company, until the personal stock scandal forced her to step down.