POLL: Millennials Turn Against President Obama

by Michael Cipriano - American University on December 4, 2013

SURVEY: Obama’s approval ratings among 18 to 29-year-olds tank, they reject Obamacare in droves, nearly half would support a recall.

More than half of Millennials – 54 percent – disapprove of President Barack Obama’s job performance, and his approval rating among 18- to 29-year-olds has reached its lowest point since the beginning of Obama’s presidency, according to a Harvard University Institute of Politics poll released Wednesday.

In fact, nearly half of Millennial’s surveyed – 47 percent – said they would support a recall of the president.

Among today’s young voters – often labeled as the key demographic that surged Obama to re-election, now only 41 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds approve of his job performance, sinking his approval rating among that age group by 11 points since the institute’s last survey in April 2013.

The poll also found most Millennials reject the Affordable Care Act: Only 39 percent approve of the new federal mandate, while 56 percent disapprove, the survey found. The numbers were nearly identical when the law was referred to as “Obamacare,” where 38 percent approved and 57 percent disapproved.

The poll found by a margin of 5 to 1 that young Americans believe their costs will increase under the healthcare law, and a margin of 2 to 1 that the quality of their healthcare will decrease.

“You can see that there are very few aspects of the healthcare initiative that they approve of,” said John Della Volpe, the institute’s polling director, in a conference call Wednesday morning. “They believe that quality will decrease and prices will increase.”

Millennials are only slightly more likely to view the president favorably compared to the general population, with most national polls reporting his approval rating between 37 and 40 percent.

His numbers have also fallen among young voters of color. Approval among young white voters dropped 10 points to 28 percent, while Hispanics dropped 18 points to 53 percent. Young black voters remain strong in their support, dropping only nine points to a 75 percent approval, the poll found.

What’s more, Obama’s approval rating among college students is down: 11 points to 39 percent.

“(Millennials) are disappointed because they are passionate,” Della Volpe said. “They are passionate about government, they are passionate about America, and they want to go to work for their country.”

The poll also questioned participants in their beliefs about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s legacy. More than half, 52 percent, were unsure whether to label Snowden a patriot or a traitor. Twenty-two percent believe he is a patriot, and twenty-two percent believe he is a traitor.

The survey was completed with 2,089 web-based interviews. Forty-nine percent were male and 51 percent were female. Fifty-nine percent were white, 20 percent were Hispanic, 13 percent were black and seven percent were of another race.

​ A detailed report on the poll’s findings is available online.

Fix contributor Michael Cipriano is a student at American University.

IMAGE: JBouie/Flickr

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  • TruthTeller

    It’s amazing to me. So many of these young people have been trained to reject capitalism, and embrace socialism. And they do so with great enthusiasm… until they learn that THEY will be forced to subsidize the medical care of others. They hate that idea. But they don’t see the inherent conflict with what they “believe” in.

    “Socialism is good… but don’t try to take something away from me to give to someone else. That’s just not fair.”

    • jhoger

      “So many of these young people have been trained to reject capitalism, and embrace socialism.”

      Only in your fantasy universe are young people taught anything of the kind.

      • Tim M.

        @jhoger:disqus I disagree. I am 25, and many of my friends are living in a fantasy land, They embrace the idea of helping the poor and the needy, but do not understand (nor do they care) how it is achieved, and just assume that these “needy people” are there because of the income inequality that exists. I am an extremely optimistic person, but the majority of Americans are lazy and selfish and expect to receive benefits at the expense (literally) of the producers. They sit at home collecting all the benefits government provides for them while producers have to pay for them. It is disgusting.

  • Tim M.

    “Passionate about government”???? That is a very open-ended comment for much interpretation. Those that are passionate about government are FOR President Obama. I am dissatisfied with the President because there is TOO MUCH government. Currently, there are 10.9 million Americans on disability, which outnumbers the ENTIRE population of Greece. How many of those on disability are ACTUALLY disabled? The frauds raping the system are doing so because there is TOO MUCH government. As a Millennial, I am passionate about fixing a broken system and getting back to the motto “”Government is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem.”

    • Dennis_Webb

      Disability numbers spiked upward as soon as unemployment began to run out during the recent recession. It’s easy to connect the dots on this one.

  • Robert Govan

    Obama is the son of Richard Pryor. No joke. And Nancy Pelosi is Jane F#cking Fonda. Wellaware1.com/officials.shtml

  • Dennis_Webb

    Millennials have to be educated to the fact that it is THEY who are going to spend the rest of their lives paying for all the wealth transfer that Congress has been instituting in recent decades, but especially the past five years. The young workers (and their kids) will lead lives with a lower standard of living for generations as they struggle to pay back the (literally) trillions of dollars being doled out by Congress to special interests. I’m afraid once they realize this it will be far too late to do anything about it.