Harvard University on Wednesday provided new proof that the Democrats are going to be broadsided in Tuesday’s national elections as millennial voters, in a shocking shift, now prefer a Republican-controlled Congress and give President Obama his second lowest grade ever.
A new and massive poll of 2,029 18- to 29-year-olds from Harvard’s Institute of Politics just released found that of those who say they will “definitely be voting,” 51 percent want the GOP in charge, 47 percent favoring Democratic control.
The unexpected anti-Democratic swing prompted a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reporter quizzing poll experts on a media conference call to IOP blurted out, "How did the Democrats and Obama screw this up?"
Because the numbers are close, however, Harvard said the kid vote is “up for grabs.”
Still, it is a huge shift from the last IOP midterm poll. In 2010, younger voters kept to their historic trend with 55 percent favoring Democrats, 43 percent Republicans. That is an eight-point change, very good news for the Republicans who had feared that the Obama generation would show up at the polls and in knee-jerk fashion simply pull the Democratic levers.
The shift away from Democrats is likely fed by the millennial dissatisfaction with Obama. The poll from IOP, located at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass., found their approval of Obama near the low-water mark, at just 43 percent. It dipped below, to 41 percent, just once.
And, said the poll analysis, “Among 18-29 year-olds saying they will ‘definitely be voting in November,’ the president’s job approval rating is 42 percent, with 56 percent saying they disapprove.”
Some 26 percent said that they “definitely” will vote, about equal to 2010. When everyone is included, the choice is for Democratic control of Congress by a 50-43 percent margin.
But, “by a significant 12-point margin,” said the poll, Republican millennials plan to outvote Democrats.
Even worse for Democrats: Hispanic support has dropped off. While Obama beat Mitt Romney by 51 points among the group in 2012, their approval of Obama now just ekes out disapproval by a 49-46 percent margin. Obama had an 81 approval rating in 2009.
The poll echoed many others this election season in noting that younger voters dislike both parties.
"While Democrats have lost ground among members of America's largest generation, millennial views of Republicans in Congress are even less positive," said Harvard Institute of Politics Polling Director John Della Volpe. "Both parties should re-introduce themselves to young voters, empower them and seek their participation in the upcoming 2016 campaign and beyond."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.