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Millennials dislike Trump, but like a lot of his policies: Harvard poll

On its face, a new poll indicates millennials deeply disapprove of President Donald Trump. However, further analysis of the survey shows there’s more common ground than the job performance figures suggest.

The Institute of Politics at Harvard University spring survey, released Tuesday, found only 32 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds approve of Trump’s performance and 41 percent of respondents give Trump a letter grade of “F” through his first 100 days in office.

But when asked about major planks of Trump’s agenda, millennials issued broad support for the president’s trade policies and law enforcement priorities.

For instance, 60 percent said “cracking down on countries’ illegal and unfair trade practices that hurt American workers” would make America better. Only 13 percent said it would make the country worse. Support on the issue comes from both sides of aisle, said John Della Volpe, polling director at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.

“In fact, we found 50 percent of Democrats actually believe that this makes America better,” he said. “And we found that 37 percent of the same group of 18- to 29-year-olds believe that this policy would have a positive impact on them and their family. Only 14 percent indicated that would have a negative impact.”

Ending anti-police sentiments and supporting law enforcement also resonates with younger Americans. Nearly half of respondents — 48 percent — said “ending the ‘anti-police’ atmosphere in America and empowering law enforcement” would improve the nation, compared to the 24 percent would said it’d make America worse.

Della Volpe added that “on an individual basis, by nearly a 2 to 1 measure — 37 percent to 20 percent,” millennials believe the policy would have a positive impact on them or their family.

Fewer millennials supported Trump’s plans to repeal and replace Obamacare, institute a temporary ban on refugees and issuing new visas from six predominantly Muslim countries, and a border wall. In all three cases, between 45 to 50 percent of millennials said the policies would make America worse.

Though, the poll suggests Trump has millennial support in one other area: the media. Like with the president, the poll shows millennials are disappointed with how the media has covered the president’s tenure. Only 10 percent of respondents gave the mainstream media an “A” grade of its coverage of Trump’s first 100 days. More than quarter — 26 percent — give the media an “F.”

The poll was completed with 2,654 interviews from Americans aged 18 to 29, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percent. The interviews took place from March 10 to March 24.

MORE: Most millennials support national service program linked to loan forgiveness, Harvard poll finds

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About the Author
Nathan Rubbelke served as a staff reporter for The College Fix with a specialty on investigative and enterprise reporting from 2017 to 2018. He has also held editorial positions at The Commercial Review daily newspaper in Portland, Indiana, as well as at The Washington Examiner, Red Alert Politics and St. Louis Public Radio. Rubbelke graduated from Saint Louis University, where he majored in political science and sociology.