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Who Voted for Whom? Comparing Supporters of Obama and McCain on Value Types and Personality Traits


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Özlem Dirilen-Gümüş, Department of Psychology, Atilim University, İncek, Ankara 06836, Turkey. E-mail:


This study investigates the personalities and values of Obama and McCain supporters in the 2008 election. A total of 278 American participants completed the Big Five Inventory and the Portrait Values Questionnaire along with demographic items. For value types, Obama supporters were more likely to endorse universalism values and less likely to endorse tradition, conformity, and security values compared with McCain supporters. With regard to personality traits, Obama supporters scored higher on agreeableness and lower on conscientiousness than did McCain supporters. As predicted, logistic regression revealed that values were better predictors of voting preference than were personality traits. These findings demonstrate the importance of individual differences in political preferences and are discussed with regard to findings in other cultures.