BOSTON: Young Americans are unhappy with virtually every major thing President Barack Obama has done since he was re-elected, but they would still vote for him today, according to the results of a Harvard University survey released on Wednesday. The national poll by Harvard’s Institute of Politics of more than 2,000 people aged 18 through 29 is intended to provide insight into the political views of the youngest US voters, an increasingly influential demographic known as the “millennial generation.”
More than 50 percent of respondents in the survey, taken between Oct. 30 and Nov. 11, said they disapproved of how Obama handled key issues in his second term, including Syria, Iran, the economy, healthcare and the federal budget deficit. But a plurality of respondents, 46 percent, said they would still vote for him for president if they could recast their 2012 ballots, compared with 35 percent who said they would vote for the then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Some 55 percent of the survey respondents who reported casting ballots in the 2012 presidential election said they had voted for Obama, compared with 33 percent for Romney.
The results follow a separate CNN/ORC poll released on Nov. 25 that showed a growing number of Americans doubted Obama’s ability to manage the nation, amid ongoing problems plaguing the president’s signature domestic policy achievement, the healthcare reform law widely known as Obamacare.
Obama’s administration has also come under fire from critics at home and abroad who claim it is dealing poorly with the Syrian government over its alleged use of chemical weapons and Iran over its nuclear ambitions. They also say the administration has failed to rein in US public spending or revive the economy.
Some 57 percent of respondents in the Harvard poll said they disapproved of the Obamacare law, with 40 percent expecting the quality of health care to worsen and about half expecting health care costs to rise.
The Harvard survey respondents spread out the blame for Washington’s shortcomings beyond Obama and the Democratic party. In terms of job performance, 54 percent said they disapproved of the president, 59 percent disapproved of Democrats in Congress, and a whopping 75 percent disapproved of Republicans in Congress.