WASHINGTON, D.C. Jan. 18, 2017 – As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, the public has starkly different expectations about which groups in society will gain influence – and those that will lose influence – under his administration, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) say wealthy people will gain influence in Washington when Trump takes office. Just 8% say they will lose influence, while 27% expect the wealthy will not be affected.
In addition, about half of the public thinks whites (51%), men (51%) and conservative Christians (52%) will gain influence. Relatively small shares (no more than 15%) think any of these groups will lose clout in a Trump administration.
The survey also finds that majorities think Hispanics (56%), poor people (55%) and gays and lesbians (54%) will lose influence in Washington during Trump’s presidency. And far more say that blacks and women will lose influence than gain influence (48% to 19% for blacks, 46% to 23% for women).
The public’s assessments of the groups that will gain and lose influence in Trump’s presidency are sharply different than before Barack Obama took office eight years ago. In many cases, they mirror views of expected “winners” and “losers” under George W. Bush before he took office in January 2001.
But there are some notable exceptions. For example, today just 24% predict that children will gain influence under Trump, while 32% say they will lose influence and 41% say their influence will not be affected.
In 2009, 64% expected children to gain influence under Obama and 50% said the same about children during Bush’s presidency in 2001.
In another change from recent presidents, more Americans say “people like yourself” will lose influence than gain influence in Washington when Trump takes office. Currently, 40% say people like themselves will lose influence by Trump taking office, while 27% say they will gain and 31% expect not to be affected.
Just prior to Obama taking office in 2009, more than twice as many said people like them would gain rather than lose influence (47% vs. 18%) and the margin was nearly as wide before Clinton took office in January 1993 (43% vs. 22%). In early 2001, 35% said people like them would gain influence with Bush in the White House, while 26% thought they would lose influence.
The survey was conducted Jan. 4-9 among 1,502 adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points for results based on the full sample.