President Barack Obama saw his approval rating sink among what was once his strongest group, with young people growing upset with unfulfilled expectations from the president who once promised “Hope and Change.”
Obama had wide support among college students when he swept to election in 2008, but recently, his momentum among young Americans has faltered.
Richard Davis, a BYU political science professor, noted that Obama once “embodied youth as well as novelty — the first major party nominee who is African American.”
But that is changing, and it’s evident in President Obama’s approval numbers. A Harvard poll found that when asked, “How often do you trust the president to do the right thing,” just 32 percent of young voters said “all the time.” That same number was 51 percent four years ago.
Many believe that the sinking numbers represent a lost opportunity on the part of President Obama.
“Obama had a moment, we all had a moment, between 2007 and the 2010 mid-term elections, to engage the largest generation in U.S. history, and we didn’t do it,” said Harvard pollster John Della Volpe in an interview with the National Journal.
Obama has suffered from other problems common in voters across the spectrum, including a difficult roll-out for his trademark Obamacare program. His administration has also seen scandals in the Benghazi attack and cover-up, the IRS harassment of Conservative groups, Fast and Furious, NSA spying on American citizens, and the deadly problems with the VA system.
While he has difficulty among young people, President Obama has actually seen some approval ratings increase overall. In a recently released Zogby poll, he gained four points among both women and voters over 65, hitting an overall approval rating of 47 percent.
The small improvement comes after President Obama saw his approval rating fall to new lows just weeks before. In late April, a Washington Post/ABC News poll found that his approval dipped to just 41 percent, the lowest at any point during his presidency.