Maybe millenials finally started paying attention to the bills due from ObamaCare, or perhaps they’ve just had enough sales pitches to last them a lifetime. According to a new poll of more than 2,000 adults conducted by Harvard, young voters have turned against Obama, and NSA surveillance might have been the catalyst:
Young Americans are turning against Barack Obama and Obamacare, according to a new survey of Millennials, people between the ages of 18 and 29 who are vital to the fortunes of the president and his signature health-care law.
The most startling finding of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics: A majority of Americans under age 25 – the youngest Millennials – would favor throwing Obama out of office.
The survey, part of a unique 13-year study of the attitudes of young adults, finds that America’s rising generation is worried about its future, disillusioned with the U.S. political system, strongly opposed to the government’s domestic surveillance apparatus, and drifting away from both major parties. It blows a gaping hole in the belief among many Democrats that Obama’s two elections signaled a durable grip on the youth vote.
Indeed, Millennials are not so hot on their president.
Obama’s approval rating among young Americans is just 41 percent, down 11 points from a year ago, and now tracking with all adults. While 55 percent said they voted for Obama in 2012, only 46 percent said they would do so again.
National Journal’s Ron Fournier breaks down the numbers, but the embedded graphic tells the whole story. The red bars indicating opposition dominate all the way down among voters 18-29 years of age, which had been the Democrats’ core for activists and enthusiasm. Obama scores badly across the board on issues, from the economy that’s not producing jobs for younger voters (33/61) to the federal budget deficit that they’ll have to own later (28/66).
The biggest issue right now, though, is ObamaCare, which ended up as law in large part due to the efforts of this demographic. It matters little whether pollsters call it the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, as the disapproval of it is almost identical either way (39/56 and 38/57, respectively). On health care policy, Obama gets a disastrous 34/61 approval on an issue that Democrats have owned for decades, especially among this demographic. Sticking them with huge premium bills in order to subsidize middle-aged and wealthier Americans will do that to a politician, especially when only 18% expect the law to improve their own care.
Two months ago, Democrats were crowing about the 2014 midterms after the government shutdown, with polls showing nearly double-digit leads. Now, Democrats who routinely have double-digit leads in this demographic find their party-affiliation edge cut to six points among 18-24 year olds. Overall in the under-30 demographic, their lead has been cut to nine points, 33/24.
This is not just a momentary disaster for Barack Obama, but a generational disaster for Democrats. It also raises a big question in the midterms: where will Democrats get their volunteers and activists? It also raises an even bigger question for ObamaCare, as these millenials aren’t going to rush into the economic vise of the exchanges. And that will only get worse as the mandate rolls forward.