A new nationwide poll shows that President Barack Obama’s Svengali-like hold over America’s youth voting cohort may have finally loosened.
The poll, by Harvard’s Institute of Politics, reveals that 18-to-29-year-old Americans are abandoning the Democratic coalition built largely by Obama, National Journal reports.
Millennials who participated in the poll and said they will “definitely be voting” in next week’s elections prefer Republican congressional candidates over their Democratic opponents by a margin of 51 percent to 47 percent.
That’s a dramatic about-face compared to recent elections.
In both 2008 and 2012, college students and the rest of America’s youth voting bloc voted enthusiastically and overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama. In 2012, for example, Obama trounced Mitt Romney among young people by a margin of 67 percent to 30 percent in populous and crucial states such as Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, according to a Tufts University study.
In 2010, the last “off-year” election, the same Harvard poll found that millennials favored Democrats over Republicans by 55 percent to 43 percent.
Within the general millennial population, 18-to-29-year-old Hispanics have turned severely against Obama. Only 49 percent of young Hispanic voters polled favor Obama, according to National Journal.
Just five years ago, the approval percentage for young Hispanics was 81 percent.
Obama’s job approval rating in the 18-to-29-year-old cohort has eroded steadily in 2014, from 47 percent in April to 43 percent this month.
On a host of issues including the economy, foreign policy and the national debt, Obama polls under 40 percent among millennials.
The Democrat’s biggest negative is health care. Almost 60 percent of the young voters polled have a negative view of Obamacare.
Among millennials who plan to vote on Tuesday, the president’s job approval rating stands at 42 percent.
Despite their overall disappointment with Obama, however, these kids today still can’t bring themselves to like Republicans. As a cohort, millennials still prefer Democrats on several issues including immigration, race relations and the very issues over which they disapprove of Obama: the economy, foreign policy and healthcare.
Prior to this recent shift, millennials had been among Obama’s strongest supporters despite a consistently stagnant economy that has punished them for their lack of experience and skills.
College graduates under 40 years who have student debt have a median net worth of just $8,700. The Washington Post recently advised newly-minted college graduates to give up hope and go live in their parents’ basements.
As The College Fix notes, a new, different study shows that millennials tend to report more depression than their older Generation X counterparts.
The author of the study, San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge, suggested that one reason for the higher rates of reported depression could be a tendency to have “unrealistic expectations.”
“Recent adolescents have more self-focused fears than their 1980s counterparts, are more likely to believe they are above average, and have expectations more out of line with reality,” Twenge wrote, according to the Fix.
The generation identified as millennials was born in the 1980s and 1990s. Members of Generation X were born in the 1960s and 1970s.
About 25 percent of all millennials say they definitely plan to vote in the upcoming elections, according to National Journal.