Washington, Nov 12 : Sixty-three percent of Americans including roughly one in five voters who supported Republican presidential nominee John McCain are pleased that Barack Obama has been elected President of the United States, while 71 percent including nearly half of McCain voters are optimistic about the next four years.
Just 17 percent are pessimistic, and only about one in four are disappointed in the outcome of the election, a new CBS News poll finds.
Americans' reaction to President-elect Obama's victory is by no means unprecedented: About seven in 10 Americans were optimistic about Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton before their first terms began. Six in 10 were optimistic about George W. Bush in December of 2000.
Most Americans believe that Obama will make the right decisions when it comes to the economy, which voters overwhelmingly cited as their top concern. Seventy-eight percent are at least somewhat confident the president-elect will make the right decisions, and 41 percent have a lot of confidence he will do so.
Meanwhile, 70 percent are at least somewhat confident Obama will make the right decisions on Iraq, and 42 percent have a lot of confidence in the president-elect on the issue. About one in four have little or no confidence in Obama when it comes to Iraq.
Nearly seven in ten Americans believe an Obama presidency will bring Americans together, including nearly half of Republicans. Fifteen percent believe an Obama presidency will divide Americans.
Seventy-eight percent believe "a lot of progress" has been made in getting rid of racial discrimination in the past ten or fifteen years.
Blacks and whites are divided on the progress question. Less than half of blacks believe a lot of progress has been made in ending racial discrimination, while 45 percent say there has not been much progress. Just 11 percent of whites say there has not been much progress.
Among new voters, 40 percent say they were contacted only by the Obama campaign, while none said they were contacted exclusively by the McCain camp.