Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, December 4, 2013
In just the latest example of how President Barack Obama’s 2008 promise of “hope and change” has gone by the wayside, a majority of adults aged 18 to 24 would recall the president from office if given the opportunity, according to a new study released by the Harvard Institute of Politics Wednesday.
The Harvard Institute of Politics’ Fall 2013 study, which is part of a 13-year study on the attitudes of young adults in the United States, found that Millennials are extremely worried about their future, disillusioned with the American political system, strongly opposed to the government’s domestic surveillance program, and becoming increasingly independent in their political beliefs.
Overall, 47 percent of young Americans would give the president the boot if they could, including 51 percent of young, Independent voters, 19 percent of voters who cast a ballot for the president last November and 35 percent of Hispanics. Congress wasn’t exempt from the recall threats, either, with 52 percent of Millennials supporting a recall for all members of the nation’s highest legislative body, and 45 percent supporting a recall effort for their own particular member of Congress.
The shift, which is partly attributed to the president’s failures with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also highlights a growing trend among younger Millennials to self-identify more as an Independent than a Democrat. Just 31 percent of respondents aged 18-24 called themselves a Democrat, down from 36 percent this past spring. The number of younger Millennials who consider themselves to be Republican remained stagnant at 25 percent.
“We’ve definitely seen a trending of the 18-to-24-year-olds – the younger half of this generation – looking more conservative in a lot of different key areas,” Eva Guidarini, a Harvard Student and the chair of the Harvard Public Opinion Project, told reporters on a conference call. “This is not the only place we’ve seen it, but it was definitely exacerbated in this study with all of the frustration surrounding Obamacare.”
“Millennials are starting to look a lot more like their older brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents,” John Della Volpe, the Institute’s polling director, added.
Obama’s seen his popularity take a tumble among young voters in recent weeks, as well, with only 41 percent of respondents approving of the president’s job performance in office according to Harvard’s study. The findings jive with that of a Fox News poll released last month which found that just 40 percent of adults under the age of 35 approve of the president’s job performance.
The president’s approval rating in general has dipped dramatically among all Americans of late, with Real Clear Politics‘ daily aggregate average reaching an all time low of 39.8 percent Tuesday.
“A critical factor in the election and reelection of Barack Obama, America’s 18- to 29- year-olds now rate the President’s job performance closer to that of Congress – and at the lowest level since he took office in 2009,” Harvard Institute of Politics Director Trey Grayson said in a press release Wednesday. “Overcoming today’s bitter partisanship and governmental gridlock is essential to showing Millennials and all our citizens that Washington, D.C. – and our democratic process – can still work and make a difference.”
The Harvard University Institute of Politics conducted a study of 2,089 adults in both English and Spanish between the ages of 18-29 years old from October 30-November 11, 2013. The margin of error for the study is +/- 2.1 percent at a 95 percent margin of error.
This piece has been updated.