Young people unhappy with Obama’s performance: Poll

U.S. President Barack Obama talks about the Affordable Care Act in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, November 14, 2013.
President Barack Obama’s second term has been a disappointment for many young people, a new poll finds.
Credit: Reuters

Young Americans are unhappy with virtually every major thing President Barack Obama has done since he was re-elected, but they would still vote for him today, according to the results of a Harvard University survey released Wednesday.

The national poll by Harvard’s Institute of Politics of more than 2,000 people aged 18 through 29 is intended to provide insight into the political views of the youngest U.S. voters. This increasingly influential demographic, known as millennials, has been a traditional base of Obama’s support.

More than 50 percent of respondents in the survey, taken between Oct. 30 and Nov. 11, said they disapprove of how the Democratic president handled key issues in his second term, including Syria, Iran, the economy, health care and the federal budget deficit.

Most cited the economy as their top concern.

Still, disapproval ratings were higher for both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. And a plurality of respondents, 46 percent, said they would still vote for Obama for president if they could recast their 2012 ballots, compared with 35 percent who said they would vote for the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.

Some 55 percent of the survey respondents who reported casting ballots in the 2012 presidential election said they had voted for Obama, compared with 33 percent for Romney.

Institute of Politics Director Trey Grayson said the poll revealed cracks forming in Obama’s base.

“This isn’t a problem for Obama because he’s not coming up for election again,” Grayson said in a conference call with reporters. “But it is a potential problem for any Democratic candidate seeking to mobilize young Americans.”

The results follow a CNN/ORC poll released on Nov. 25 that showed a growing number of Americans doubted Obama’s ability to manage the nation, amid ongoing problems plaguing the president’s signature domestic policy achievement, the healthcare reform law known as Obamacare.

Obama’s administration has also come under fire. Critics claim it is dealing poorly with the Syrian government over its alleged use of chemical weapons and Iran over its nuclear ambitions, and has failed to rein in U.S. public spending or revive the economy.

Some 57 percent of respondents in the Harvard poll said they disapproved of the Affordable Care Act, with 40 percent expecting the quality of health care to worsen and about half expecting such costs to rise.

“Among the 22 percent in our survey who report that they have no insurance, less than one-third tell us they are likely to enroll,” according to the report detailing the survey findings. “A plurality however are 50-50 and are therefore open to enrolling under the right circumstances.”

Unhappy with everyone

The Harvard survey respondents spread out the blame for Washington’s shortcomings beyond Obama and the Democratic Party. In terms of job performance, 54 percent said they disapproved of the president, 59 percent disapproved of Democrats in Congress, and a whopping 75 percent disapproved of Republicans in Congress.

Conservative U.S. Republicans took a hard line in the fight over October’s U.S. government shutdown, which was waged over the party’s demands to stop the launch of Obamacare. But delays in pay to some public workers, closings of national parks and reductions in public services only deepened Americans’ frustration.

“Nobody was happy with anybody after the shutdown,” Grayson said.

Asked which proposals they would prefer to see enacted to cut the federal deficit, respondents tended to favor increasing taxes for the wealthy and cutting certain types of military spending — including on the nuclear arsenal and the size of the Navy fleet.

More than 70 percent also said they would prefer not to see any cuts to education spending on kindergarten through high school, the poll showed.

In a sign of ambivalence over the role of Edward Snowden, a contractor for the National Security Agency, in unveiling details of the U.S. spying program, 52 percent of survey respondents said they were not sure if he was a traitor or a patriot. Some 22 percent labeled him a traitor and an equal 22 percent labeled him a patriot.

Snowden is living in Russia as a fugitive after President Vladimir Putin granted him asylum against Washington’s wishes.

“The Snowden stuff shows that these 18-to-29-year-olds are not that supportive of giving up personal information for the interests of national security,” Grayson said.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…