A poll released Wednesday found that the nation’s youth still supports change.
It’s just not the kind President Obama would prefer.
A survey from Harvard University’s Institute of Politics showed that a slim majority, 51 percent, of young adults “definitely voting” in this year’s midterm elections would prefer a Republican-controlled Congress as the outcome. The finding comes with a few grains of salt — the “definitely voting” crowd comprises only a quarter of the total respondents, which would prefer a Democratic Congress by a 50 to 43 percent margin — but it’s certainly an indication that those who are most motivated to cast a ballot are ready for something other than the president’s agenda.
And as Harvard IOP Director Maggie Williams put it, it’s evidence that millennials are “politically up-for-grabs.”
The poll builds on previous numbers that found President Obama falling out of favor with the under-30 demographic. At least 59 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the president’s handling of the economy, health care, the budget deficit, foreign policy, and immigration. And his administration’s domestic centerpiece, the Affordable Care Act, has only a 39-percent approval rating. 57 percent disapprove.
“The Obama-Reid agenda has hurt millennials by reducing our opportunity to achieve our American Dream. This poll confirms what our modeling has been showing all along: that Millennials are sick and tired of the false promises from Democrats,” Republican National Committee spokesman Raffi Williams said. “My generation is poised to vote against the status quo and for a better future by voting for Republicans.”
While the GOP’s near-term prospects among the millennial vote is looking up, the party still faces longer-term work to build its brand — as do Democrats. Congressional Republicans and Democrats both face disapproval ratings of at least 60 percent, and young adults continue to be disenchanted with the political system. A majority blames the all-encompassing term “all of them” in Washington, D.C. for current political gridlock. 53 percent say they would “recall and replace” all of Congress. And only 1 in 10 say that their member of Congress represents his or her constituents above all other interests.
“Both parties should re-introduce themselves to young voters, empower them and seek their participation in the upcoming 2016 campaign and beyond,” Harvard IOP Polling Director John Della Volpe said.
For more on the poll and its methodology, check it out here.