Biden’s approval ratings have fallen the most among the youngest voters. Voters under 35 helped Biden win the presidency, but their dissatisfaction has grown sharply, especially among young women. (Morning Consult)
NH: From January 2021 to June 2022, Biden's approval rating has fallen among all age brackets. But it has fallen the most among young adults.
While Biden's approval rating among those aged 65+ has fallen only -4 percentage points, it has decreased -20 percentage points among 18- to 34-year-olds.
Among Democratic voters, moreover, Biden's approval has fallen more among young women (-23 pp) than young men (-9 pp). Women's approval has fallen faster than men's in all age groups, but in the young most of all.
Young Democrats say Biden isn't pushing their top concerns. While 61% consider abortion a critical consideration in their vote, only 35% believe Biden is focusing on the issue. There are similarly large gaps when it comes to education, health care, and LGBTQ+ rights.
Of course, Biden was never young liberals' first choice for president. In the primaries, they overwhelmingly supported progressives like Bernie Sanders. Nonetheless, late in the 2020 primaries, they showed up for Biden. And in the election, they showed up for him there as well. (See "College Students Turned Up to Vote in 2020.”) Both times, they were no doubt more interested in stopping Trump than electing Biden.
So what will this mean for the midterms? It's unlikely that this discontent will drive young people to GOP candidates. But it could well suppress turnout, especially in districts or states where they see nothing special in the Democratic candidates.
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ABOUT NEIL HOWE
Neil Howe is a renowned authority on generations and social change in America. An acclaimed bestselling author and speaker, he is the nation's leading thinker on today's generations—who they are, what motivates them, and how they will shape America's future.
A historian, economist, and demographer, Howe is also a recognized authority on global aging, long-term fiscal policy, and migration. He is a senior associate to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., where he helps direct the CSIS Global Aging Initiative.
Howe has written over a dozen books on generations, demographic change, and fiscal policy, many of them with William Strauss. Howe and Strauss' first book, Generations is a history of America told as a sequence of generational biographies. Vice President Al Gore called it "the most stimulating book on American history that I have ever read" and sent a copy to every member of Congress. Newt Gingrich called it "an intellectual tour de force." Of their book, The Fourth Turning, The Boston Globe wrote, "If Howe and Strauss are right, they will take their place among the great American prophets."
Howe and Strauss originally coined the term "Millennial Generation" in 1991, and wrote the pioneering book on this generation, Millennials Rising. His work has been featured frequently in the media, including USA Today, CNN, the New York Times, and CBS' 60 Minutes.
Previously, with Peter G. Peterson, Howe co-authored On Borrowed Time, a pioneering call for budgetary reform and The Graying of the Great Powers with Richard Jackson.
Howe received his B.A. at U.C. Berkeley and later earned graduate degrees in economics and history from Yale University.