It may be that the Democratic Party no longer has a lock on young people. Millennials, the biggest current generation, are disenchanted with President Obama, his policies, and his party. That doesn’t bode well for Democrats in next week’s midterm elections.
Yesterday, Harvard released findings from its survey of Millennials who are very likely to vote. This is an update from a similar polling conducted in recent years and it is not good news for Democrats. Slightly more than half (51 percent) of those very likely to vote prefer a Republican-led Congress – a significant departure from when 55 percent preferred a Democrat-run Congress in 2010. What a difference four years of slow growth, high youth unemployment, higher healthcare costs, and lack of opportunity make!
Overall, 18-29 year olds would prefer Democrats running Congress but it's those who are most likely to vote that will make that determination for everyone and young conservatives are energized.
Here's more from the polling:
“The IOP’s fall polling shows that young Americans care deeply about their country and are politically up-for-grabs,” said Harvard Institute of Politics Director Maggie Williams. “Millennials could be a critical swing vote. Candidates for office: ignore millennial voters at your peril."
Overall, President Obama’s job performance among America’s 18-29 year-olds has fallen from 47% (April 2014) to 43 percent (53%: disapprove), the second-lowest rating in the IOP polls since he took office (41%: November 2013). Among 18-29 year-olds saying they will “definitely be voting in November,” the president’s job approval rating is 42 percent, with 56% saying they disapprove.
Roughly one-in-four (26%) young Americans under the age of 30 say that they will “definitely be voting” in the fall, a very similar proportion to that seen during a similar time period prior to the 2010 midterm elections (27%: Sept. 2010)… Others who are more likely to participate than their counterparts include: college students (31% say they will definitely vote), college graduates (40%), males (31%), Romney voters (57%), Whites (29%) and African-Americans (28%) compared to Hispanics (17%).
In 2010, when the President and his party took a shellacking in the elections, it was driven by strong Tea Party energy. Fresh off the passage of ObamaCare, Americans were weary of more government overreach.
It appears young conservatives will be the motivating factor this time.
Young people have been disproportionately hit by the policies if this Administration in the way. Premiums for young women have spiked more than 40 percent for you women and over 90 percent for young men on average thanks to ObamaCare, yet we're paying more for the same or worse care. Good luck finding doctors even willing to take your ObamaCare plan.
According to Generation Opportunity, 19-29 year olds face a nearly 14 percent effective unemployment rate -which captures those who can't find work and those who've stopped looking for jobs entirely. It's unacceptable that 1.9 million young people have dropped out of the job market. Those able to find work are taking part-time jobs.
With an economic situation this dismal, it's not surprising that our generation is motivated. We need something different and we need it quickly.