Three horrific polls bombarded the president over the last week. National surveys from Pew, Quinnipiac and Fox News uniformly showed the president's approval ratings dropping to 40 percent and below, with disapproval leaping into the mid-50s. Obamacare has also taken a public opinion beating, for obvious reasons. The latter two polls also showed substantial gains for Republicans on specific issues, as well as on the generic Congressional ballot. Obama lost ground across all demographics, including several core groups within his base, like women and Hispanics. But perhaps the most striking erosion of trust has come among voters under the age of 35. Millennials twice backed Obama overwhelmingly at the polls, and have been one of the least likely cohorts to abandon him on a host of topics -- through thick and thin. No more, it would seem. Change:
(1) In the latest Q-poll, Obama's overall approval rating is underwater by 15 percentage points (39/54). Among young voters, the gap is larger: (36/54). The same trend plays out on issues. Within the 18-29 year-old bracket, Obama earns a thumbs down on the economy (37/60), healthcare (40/56), the budget (34/59), immigration (39/49), and foreign policy (34/53). An outright majority of this demographic now disapproves of Obamacare altogether, with just one in five saying it will improve their healthcare.
(2) On Quinnipiac's question of whether Obama is "honest and trustworthy," the president's reputation has plummeted among 18-29 year-olds to (43/51).
(3) Young voters told the pollster they'd trust Congressional Republicans over Obama on handling the economy by a ten-point margin, healthcare by a five-point margin, and the federal budget by a three-point margin. On the generic Congressional ballot, young voters split evenly between supporting a hypothetical Republican (37 percent) versus a Democratic candidate (36 percent).
(4) Within the Fox poll, voters under the age of 35 disapprove of Obama (40/53), and dished out double-digit negative marks for the president on every issue polled, except for immigration -- on which he was 'only' underwater by eight points.
(5) Remarkably, Republicans hold a generic Congressional ballot lead within this group (34/32); (40/38) including leaners.
(6) By a (44/50) margin, young people said Obama spends less time taking responsibility than he does blaming other people. A large plurality said they'd throw out Obamacare entirely and start from scratch. Just 12 percent said the law should be kept intact, as is. And roughly two-thirds of this group are now worried about their own personal healthcare.
(7) Obama's credibility crisis is especially acute among younger voters. Beyond the evidence in item two above, Fox's poll spells the problem out in greater detail. The overall public believes Obama knowingly lied (50 percent) about "you can keep your plan," as opposed to having made a mistake (40 percent). The split within the under-35 crowd is significantly more pronounced: Thirty four percent said they believe he simply erred, while fifty-six percent were in the "knowingly lied" camp. That's a 22-point margin, compared to the general populace's 10-point spread. And then there's this:
The president may recover his footing down the road, but his Obamacare face-plant and subsequent dishonest damage control has incurred the contempt of a cynical generation.