Michael Barone

What do young Americans want? Something different from what they've been getting from the president they voted for by such large margins.

Evidence comes in from various polls. Voters under 30, the millennial generation, produced numbers for Barack Obama 13 percentage points above the national average in 2008 and 9 points above in 2012.

But in recent polls, Obama approval among those under 30 has been higher than the national average by only 1 percentage point (Quinnipiac), 2 points (ABC/Washington Post) and 3 points (YouGov/Economist).

Those differences are statistically significant. And that's politically significant, since a higher percentage of millennials than of the general population are Hispanic or black.

The reasons for Millennials' decreased approval of Obama become clear from a Harvard Institute of Politics poll of 18- to 29-year-olds conducted in November.

That poll shows Obama's job approval dipping to 41 percent, down from 52 percent in April 2013 and the lowest rating in any HIOP survey.

One reason for the decline is Obamacare. Only 38 percent approved of Obamacare (39 percent approved of "the Affordable Care Act"). Only 29 percent of those who were uninsured said they would definitely or probably enroll in the health insurance exchanges.

Those results were registered five to nine weeks after the Oct. 1 healthcare.gov rollout. Tech-savvy millennials must have been astonished that government produced a website that didn't work.

They also perceived, accurately, that Obamacare health insurance would cost them a lot. The law passed by Democrats elected in large part with millennial votes was designed to have people under 30 subsidize the insurance premiums of those older, less healthy people over 50.

The old tend to have significant net worth, and the young -- with credit card and student loan debt -- tend to owe more than they own. Evidently, the Obama Democrats think it's progressive for the young to subsidize the working-age old.

That, after all, is the essence of Social Security, whose benefits some left-wing Democrats want to increase.

But millennials, whose penchant for volunteering is admirably high, are not being simply selfish. The Harvard survey also finds that they tend to believe, by a 44- to 17-percent margin, that the quality of their health care will get worse under Obamacare.

That's speculation, of course. But it suggests a healthy skepticism about the ability of a government, a government that lied about whether you could keep your insurance and your doctor, and couldn't construct a workable website, to produce a system that will improve service delivery.


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM