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Biden's approval rating plummets to new low among young voters in new poll

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Joe Biden holds a news conference in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, DC, US, January 19, 2022. (Reuters Photo)

Democrats in the US are staring at a doom and gloom situation ahead of midterm elections as President Joe Biden continues to lose his support base less than two years into his first term.

Only 41 percent of young Americans approve of Biden’s job performance, according to a new Harvard Institute of Politics poll of adults aged 18-29, which was released on Monday.

It marks a sharp slide from 46 percent approval in fall 2021 and 59 percent last spring, sending waves of alarm and anxiety in the Democratic camp and giving Republicans something to cheer about.

Control of both chambers of US Congress and dozens of governorships and state offices are on the line this year, the first time since Biden defeated Donald Trump in a controversy-marred vote in 2021.

Biden’s performance is relatively better than his predecessor, who had only 25 percent of young Americans rooting for him ahead of the 2018 midterm vote.

While Biden has received better ratings for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis (52%), which had assumed alarming proportions during Trump’s tenure, his poor handling of the economy has only 34 percent of young people giving their approval, which is also the case with other issues.

"Overall, Biden voters who now disapprove of his performance rate him more harshly on the economy," John Della Volpe, Harvard IOP's polling director, writes in the survey's release.

"They see the current political system as ineffectual; they view the President as putting the interests of the elite over their own; they consume less political information; are more likely to be on Twitter; have less hope about the future; are more liberal, and more passionate about (canceling) student debt for everyone."

The poll, which surveyed 2,024 US adults between the ages of 18 and 29, was conducted between March 15 and 30 using a nationally representative online panel.

Disenchantment, however, isn’t confined to Biden and his administration. Just 40 percent of youth approve of congressional Democrats' job performance, down from 52 percent in March 2021.

And worse, only 31 percent approve of congressional Republicans' performance.

Ed Kakenmaster, a 27-year-old from Chicago, was cited by CNN as saying that he planned to vote for Republicans in midterm elections, referring to rising crime, dissatisfaction with Chicago Democrats' Covid-19 response, Biden administration's botched exit from Afghanistan, and inflation as reasons.

"With inflation and how he has blamed (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and Covid, and his failure to take responsibility for inflation -- that is something that has rubbed me the wrong way because he's the President, and you kind of expect for him to take ownership of that," Kakenmaster said of Biden.

In the Harvard poll, 29 percent of young Americans cited economic-related topics such as inflation and cost of living as national issues that concern them the most.

Another 18 percent named foreign policy or national security issues, with 8 percent mentioning environmental issues.

Other recent surveys have painted an equally dreary picture of Biden’s performance more than a year after taking office.

According to Tracking by Morning Consult Political Intelligence, Biden has a net disapproval rating in 40 out of 50 states – including all key battleground states for the Democratic Party.

In West Virginia, for example, a whopping 74 percent of respondents disapproved of Biden, and net approval for him among independents fell by 38 points in Michigan, and 33 points in Georgia and Minnesota.

Another poll published Monday by Harvard CAPS and Harris found 63 percent of voters “did not want Biden to run for a second term.” It said 58 percent “we're open” to supporting an independent presidential candidate in the event of “a contest between Biden and Trump.”

Earlier this month, a survey by Gallup said Biden's recent job approval ratings had declined far more among younger than older generations of Americans.

During the honeymoon phase of Biden's presidency, spanning January 2021 through June of that year, an average of 56 percent of Americans approved of how he was handling his job as president, it said.

The first obvious decline in Biden's approval occurred in July and August 2021, when 49 percent of Americans approved of him. By September, Biden's approval rating had fallen further to the low 40 percent range, the survey found.


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