BYP Memo: Young People’s Attitudes toward President Obama, Political Parties, and Government, Implications for the Midterm Elections
The media often report that young people are disengaged from midterm elections. Understanding how young people feel about President Obama and the major political parties, as well as their beliefs about how well they can effect political change, can shed light on the role they will play in this election cycle.
In this report, we explore these questions using data from a nationally representative sample of 1,527 adults under the age of 30. Our main findings are as follows:
- Approval of President Obama has fallen considerably since 2012 across young people of all racial and ethnic groups, with 67.2 percent of Black youth, 52.8 percent of Latino youth and 35.8 of white youth currently approving of Obama’sjob performance.
- Presidential approval has fallen most dramatically among young people of color, decreasing 14.5 percentage points among Black youth and 15.7 percentage points among Latino youth.
- Compared with Black (38.6 percent) and white (38.1 percent) youth, Latino youth are most likely to agree that it does not matter which party wins in the 2014 congressional elections (49.0 percent), while Black youth are most likely to believe that their political participation can make a difference (70.8 percent).
- Large majorities of youth people from all racial and ethnic groups—68.5 percent of Black youth, 74.0 percent of white youth, and 68.2 percent of Latino youth—believe that elected officials do not care very much about people like themselves.