by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Younger people have become disenchanted with President Joe Biden, the septuagenarian rapidly losing support with the demographic that was wary of him during the 2020 Democratic primary.
On average, fewer than 3 in 10 adults under the age of 30 approve of Biden’s job performance as president, and a majority disapproves, according to online polling conducted by the Economist and YouGov. Biden’s net negative 21 approval rating with the demographic is his worst among any age group, the organizations found. On top of that, Biden has a net negative 17 rating among people aged between 30 and 44.
The Economist-YouGov findings suggest Biden’s popularity is dropping fastest with younger people, who earlier this year rewarded him with a net 32 approval rating. Biden currently has a negative 5 rating among adults aged 45 to 64, and a negative 8 with those 65 and older.
The Economist-YouGov polling is not an outlier, aligning with Quinnipiac University data. In Quinnipiac’s first national survey of Biden’s presidency in February, 18- to 34-year-olds gave him a net 12 approval rating while he scored a net 15 rating from 35- to 49-year-olds. That plummeted to a net negative 10 among the former and a negative 21 with the latter last month.
And the numbers should concern Democrats before next year’s midterm elections, as they bode poorly for 2022 turnout, a cycle in which the party will try to defend its slim congressional majorities against a historical trend that indicates it will shed seats.
The Economist-YouGov findings regarding Biden and younger people could be “noise,” according to pollster Charles Franklin. That is because Biden’s approval rating among adults younger than 30 was steady for three weeks before “unlikely” decreasing 8 points to 27%, his overall rating increased, and the age group was a small subset, so there is a higher margin of error.