Report

Who Expects To Gain -- And Lose -- Under Obama

  • January 21, 2009

More Americans say that people like themselves will gain influence under the Obama administration than was the case for the last two incoming presidents. An analysis finds that those who think they will gain under the new president includes groups that overwhelmingly supported Obama last November, but also many that did not -- including pluralities of all whites and white evangelical Christians.

In the latest Pew Research survey, conducted Jan. 7-11, 47% said that people like themselves would gain influence under Barack Obama, 18% said they would lose influence, and 29% said they would not be affected. The survey found that overwhelming majorities of African Americans (79%) and other core Democratic groups said that people like themselves would gain influence under the new administration1.

But by nearly two-to-one (41% to 22%), more whites said they will gain rather than lose influence under Obama; 32% of whites say they will not be affected. White voters supported John McCain over Obama by 55% to 43%, according to exit polls conducted by the National Election Pool.

White evangelical Protestants were one of McCain's strongest groups last November; 74% supported McCain, while 24% backed Obama. Yet 37% of white evangelicals say that people like themselves will gain influence under Obama, compared with 31% who say they will lose influence and 27% who say they will not be affected.

Read the full report Who Expects To Gain—And Lose—Under Obama on the Pew Research Center's Web site.