Did Oprah Winfrey elect President Barack Obama in to the White House? Economists at the University of Maryland conducted a study to assess her impact on the 2008 election and found that the media mogul was responsible for roughly 1,015,559 votes. Winfreyâ€™s support of the then-senator started early on as Obama first appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show back in 2006 to promote his book, The Audacity of Hope. The following year she held a fundraiser for him at her home in Chicago and attended the Democratic Convention in August 2008. She even joined Obama on the campaign trail in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. With Winfrey as a major endorser, Obama saw the full (Oprah) effect of her influence.