Anti-Egalitarians for Obama? Group-Dominance Motivation and the Obama Vote

Anti-Egalitarians for Obama? Group-Dominance Motivation and the Obama Vote

By
Eric D. Knowles, Brian Lowery, Rebecca L. Schaumberg
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. July
2009, Vol. 45, Issue 4, Pages 965-969

The election of the first Black president was a watershed moment in American race relations, and many Obama voters saw their choice as affirming and furthering the dream of racial equality. However, the present study provides evidence that Obama also garnered votes from an unlikely source: those wishing to maintain racial disparities. Data from a longitudinal study of the election suggest that, while some anti-egalitarian voters opposed Obama due to his perceived “foreignness,” others voted for him in order to underwrite the hierarchy-enhancing claim that US racism has been eliminated. Anti-egalitarianism was only associated with an increased tendency to vote for Obama among individuals who claimed that his victory signals the end of racism.