The Harvard Institute of Politics released the new Millennials and Politics Poll, and the findings were extremely telling of the upcoming midterm elections. More than half (51%) of millennials who reported that they will “definitely” be voting this November prefer a Republican-led Congress.
The report collected data from 2,000 young Americans between ages 18 and 29. The subjects were then interviewed from Sept. 26 through Oct. 9. While 51% of participants who will be “definitely” voting prefer a Republican-run Congress, 47% favor Democrat control, which is a major difference from the polls before the last midterm elections in Sept. 2010, when 55% preferred Democrat control. 26% of the participants who will “definitely” vote are still up-for-grabs. This could be a game-changer in the upcoming races. The figures also provided data showing race and ethnicity as strong predictors of one’s attitude towards politics in general. This fall polling demonstrated that millennials truly do care about the well-being of America and they are up-for-grabs.
Maggie Williams, Harvard Institute of Politics Director, who was also Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff, said “Millennials could be a critical swing vote. Candidates for office: ignore millennial voters at your peril.” While it is possible that millennials aren’t aware yet of the significance of their votes, each and every vote will be shaping the future of this country.
With regards to President Obama and his job approval rating, his performance among millennials has decreased, nearing Low-Water mark. Falling drastically from 47% to 43%, this is the second-lowest rating in the IOP polls since he was elected into office. The IOP also found racial differences and preferences. By more than a two-to-one margin, young whites disapprove of the President’s job performance while African Americans remain loyal (31% of whites approve vs. 78% African Americans approve). This gap of approval is even wider than it was in the 2009 IOP polling.
When young whites were asked which party should run the legislative branch, 53% preferred Republicans, and 68% of African Americans preferred Democrats. Along the lines of racial differences, Hispanic support for Obama is also diminishing, with only a mere 49% saying they approve of the President’s job performance, while at six months ago 60% approved, and five years ago a whopping 81% approved.
One out of four young Americans (26%) under the age of 30 say they will “definitely” be voting this fall. Traditional Republicans are showing more excitement than Democrats regarding the upcoming midterm elections. 42% of young Republicans will be “definitely” voting vs. 30% of young Democrats, which is a wider margin than it was in the September 2010 IOP polling.
National distress about terrorism still exists. With 61% of millennials claiming to be either “a great deal” or “somewhat” worried about a future terrorist attack, 66% of women are more concerned than 56% of men. 66% of Hispanics are worried, compared to 61% of whites and 54% of African Americans. Republicans are also more concerned about another hit than Democrats (73% vs. 62%). On the issue of ISIS, a two-to-one margin (39% to 20%) of milennials agree with Obama’s expansion of the US air campaign against ISIS, and men are more likely than women to support the strikes.
Click here to read the full report.