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Biden Approval Among Young Democrats, Independents Sees Double-Digit Drop: Poll

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WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 02: U.S. President Joe Biden walks to the Oval Office after returning to the White House on December 02, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden spent the afternoon visiting the National Institutes of Health where he announced new steps to combat COVID-19 and the Omicron variant during the winter months.
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A recent Harvard poll found that Joe Biden’s approval rating among young people has fallen 13 points since spring, with his overall disapproval rate now at 51%. He saw a double-digit drop among Democrats and Independents.

The poll, conducted by Harvard Public Opinion Project, surveyed adults ages 18-29 about a number of key political opinions. Overall, 2,109 people were polled throughout Fall 2021.

Biden’s approval among the demographic was nearing 60% back in March, but that has dropped as he has a 51% disapproval rate among the same group now. 

The slippage is consistent with other polling, which portrays an across-the-board polling rut for the president,” Politico reported, “ And it’s a warning sign ahead of next year’s midterm elections, when Democrats will be trying to convince younger voters — who are more likely to sit out non-presidential elections — to show up at the polls.”

The president’s popularity as a whole across the country hasn’t been much better. One recent poll out of Utah found that nearly two thirds of Utahns disapprove of Biden. 

While 63% disapproved of his job, only 32% still approved of the administration. 

“Although Utah doesn’t have the same battleground status as other states in the Southwest, the data is telling a similar story in Utah as it has told in Arizona and Nevada: Voters across the aisle are increasingly disappointed in the job Biden is doing, and they are turning their frustrations to Democratic officeholders and candidates,” said Mike Noble, a researcher with the group who conducted the poll.

The poll also asked respondents what they thought about American exceptionalism and the possibility of civil war.

Just 31% of those surveyed (including 62% of Republicans) believe that “America is the greatest country in the world.” Half of those surveyed said that other countries were greater or “as great” (including 64% of Democrats).

The survey found that an increasing number of young Americans think that there may be succession or civil war in the future, Biden’s approval among the young has fallen, and more than half are not positive about the state of American democracy. 

Since Harvard’s spring 2021 poll, Biden’s approval has declined by 13 points overall, with a double-digit drop among both Democrats and Independents. 

Young Americans are also quite skeptical of American democracy, according to the poll, with over half saying that the nation is in “trouble” or a “failed democracy.” While just 8% of Democrats say that American democracy has failed, almost one quarter (23%) of Republicans polled do. 

Many of those surveyed also think there is a strong likelihood of civil war in the future. 

“Nearly half (46%) of young Republicans place the chances of a second civil war at 50% or higher, compared to 32% of Democrats, and 38% of independent and unaffiliated voters,” the poll found. 

Over half told pollsters that they wanted the government to do more to combat climate change, though this again varied heavily along party lines. 

“More than seven-in-ten (71%) Democrats don’t think the government is doing enough, compared to 27% of Republicans, and 56% of independents,” the poll found, “Fourteen percent (14%) say that the government is doing ‘too much to address climate change,’ while 12 percent think it is ‘just about the right amount.’”

John Della Volpe, the Institute of Politics polling director, was a Biden campaign advisor. 

“When they look at the America they will soon inherit, they see a democracy and climate in peril — and Washington as more interested in confrontation than compromise,” he said

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