Barack Obama's election inspires optimism among many but not all Black Americans, according to new Mintel study

January 29, 2009

A new consumer survey from market research firm Mintel confirms that many Black Americans believe Barack Obama when he declares, “change has come to America.” Asked to rate their agreement with the statement, “I feel better about myself since Barack Obama was elected President of the U.S.,” Mintel’s Black survey respondents averaged a 3.43 rating (on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being “strongly agree”).
Furthermore, Mintel found numerous Black Americans view Barack Obama’s presidential victory as a road towards personal success. Rating their agreement with the statement, “I will have better educational opportunities because we have a Black president,” Black respondents averaged a reply of 3.16. Likewise, for professional opportunities, Black adults responded 3.03.
“Even before Barack Obama took office, we found that many Black Americans felt personally impacted by his win,” comments Leylha Ahuile, leading multicultural expert at Mintel. “Many Black adults view Barack Obama’s rise to the presidency as a direct and positive impact on their individual futures, as well as the future of America.”
Mintel’s survey results show that Black respondents averaged a rating of 3.64 when asked their level of agreement with the statement, “I think America will be safer as a nation under the new administration.” Moreover, “I feel safer since Barack Obama was elected president” garnered a 3.24 agreement rating among Mintel’s survey pool.
Overall, Mintel estimates that 21% of respondents feel highly optimistic about their educational, economic and safety prospects as a result of Barack Obama’s presidency. But 22% feel pessimistic about the implications of Barack Obama’s election on their personal lives. The remaining majority of Black respondents (58%) fall somewhere in the middle, slightly optimistic but still hesitant about the future.
“Our survey revealed that the way Black Americans view Obama’s presidential victory is impacted not by age or income, as one might expect, but rather by mindset,” states Leylha Ahuile. “Depending on their lifestyles, Black adults have different expectations for how Barack Obama’s presidency could impact their daily lives. But the majority of people feel hopeful yet still cautious as they look forward to the next four years.”
Mintel polled 501 Black adult Internet users in December for this study.

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