Matt Gang, a freshman at The George Washington University, used to like Barack Obama, and at the start of this year the international affairs major was firmly in the president’s corner. But Gang says he has lost hope in what he calls the president’s broken promises.
“I feel like he is a president who is almost completely non-representative of the candidate I supported in 2008, and again in 2012,” Gang, 18, told The College Fix.
Gang is not alone.
Obama continues to lose major ground with young voters, as a new opinion poll shows Millennials have turned on the commander in chief – the second such poll to come out this month that shows his clout with young voters has eroded to an all-time low.
According to the recently published poll from USA TODAY and the Pew Research Center, only 45 percent of Americans age 18 to 29 approve of Obama’s job performance – while 46 percent disapprove.
This is a dramatic reversal from less than a year ago, just before Obama’s second inauguration, when his approval rating among young Americans stood at a healthy 67 percent. What’s more, 60 percent of young voters – classified as age 18-29 – had thrown their support behind Obama in the 2012 ballot box.
But after a rough start to his second term in office, President Obama’s approval rating among these same voters is on life support, as the USA TODAY and Pew Research Center’s findings echo the recent results of other polls conducted by the Wall Street Journal/NBC News, Quinnipiac University, and the Harvard Institute of Politics, which show similar sentiments among young voters.
By many accounts, the revelations about the massive, highly invasive National Security Agency spy tactics as well as the recent disastrous rollout of healthcare.gov have undoubtedly contributed to these low approval ratings.
On the Affordable Care Act, more and more young Americans have voiced skepticism on its technical glitches, costly premiums and privacy concerns. Underscoring these criticisms, the same USA TODAY/Pew Research Center poll showed only 41 percent of young Americans approve of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, while 54 percent disapprove.
This presents a real problem for the administration and for the success or failure of the Affordable Care Act, because if young, healthy Americans do not enroll in the federal health exchanges, the initiative may fail, some have opined.
Gang, the freshman at The George Washington University, is one of the young people who supported the Affordable Care Act until recently.
“For over three years I restated his ‘If you like your healthcare, you can keep your healthcare’ promise in a countless number of arguments,” Gang said, adding he also trusted that the website would be fully operational.
“The failures and revelations of this law have embarrassed and discouraged not only me, but also liberals and progressives everywhere who still believe that government can do great things when it is run competently and honestly,” he said. “Unfortunately, competence and honesty appear to be values this administration is greatly lacking.”
The administration recently responded to the falling poll numbers by recruiting First Lady Michelle Obama.
In a Dec. 19 discussion in the Oval Office, Michelle Obama reached out to older Americans who can be vital in recruiting Millennials: “If you’ve got grandkids, make it a Christmas treat around the table to talk about a little health care,” she said as jovial laughter ensued. “Ring in the New Year with new coverage.”
Whether the First Lady’s efforts will help remains to be seen.
Fix contributor Andrew Desiderio is a student at The George Washington University.
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