Joe Biden’s numbers plummet in a group you really wouldn’t expect

At the start of Biden’s presidency (January 2021 to June 2021), an average of 6 in 10 Gen Z adults — those born between 1997 and 2004 — approved of the work Biden was doing. In the period from September 2021 to March 2022, that number had dropped to an average of just 39%.

Among millennials – those born between 1981 and 1996 – the collapse is just as brutal. Biden’s approval rating among this group stood at 60% in aggregate Gallup figures in the first half of 2021, up from 41% more recently.

Interestingly, this loss of confidence among young people was not as pronounced among older age groups. Over the same period, Biden’s approval ratings among baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — have dropped just 7 points. Among “Traditionalists” – those born before 1946 – his approval rating remained unchanged.

Now, part of the discrepancy is because younger Americans were far more positive about Biden early in his presidency than older Americans. So there was just more room to fall.

At the same time, it is clear in other surveys that there has been a significant decrease in enthusiasm for Biden among young Americans. A Quinnipiac poll released this week showed just 21% of 18-34 year olds said they approved of the way the president handled his job, while 58% disapproved.

By comparison, 36% of Americans ages 35-49 and 35% of Americans ages 50-64 approved of Biden’s work performance. Among Americans 65 and older, 48% said the same.

What explains Biden’s precipitous fall among young Americans? It’s hard to pinpoint a reason, but there’s no doubt that the delta between what young people expected from the Biden presidency – particularly in regards to the handling of Covid-19 – and what they got is substantial.

As Jeffrey Jones of Gallup noted:

“In the summer [of 2021]as coronavirus cases rose unexpectedly, Biden had lost significant support among Gen Z, Millennials and Gen Xers, ranging from a seven to 10 percentage point drop.

Whatever the reason, the disappearance of youth support for Biden is a Major problem for Democrats. Especially considering he won 60% of the vote of young people – those between the ages of 18 and 34 – in the 2020 presidential election, according to exit polls. It was, by far, his best performance among any age cohort.

Point: Democrats have many reasons to worry about the midterm elections. This discovery is right at the top of that list.

About Therese Williams

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