Voters from the millennial (25-39) and Generation-Z (18-24) generations helped propel President Joe Biden to the White House, but one year later how does the President’s approval bode among young Americans?
Historically, those in younger demographics of the nation comprise of predominantly Democratic and left-leaning voters. In 2020, NBC polls suggested that 65% of people ages 18-24, 54% of people ages 24-29, and 51% of 30–39-year-old people voted for Joe Biden with a majority identifying as Democrat. As we pass the administration’s one-year anniversary, studies across the nation have shown lowered popularity among his initial supporters and youth as a whole.
According to a recent Gallup poll, President Biden’s approval rating has plummeted to 40% overall. In another study done by the Harvard Institute of Politics, 46% of those ages 18-29 approve of the President’s job performance, a whopping 13% drop from the intuition’s study published in the Spring of 2021. Whether you defend the validity of polls or not, there are more than a few circulating with irrefutable data that supports the dive in ratings, and it isn’t just the polls that tell the story of Biden’s abrupt downfall with millennials.
Young people have voiced their opinions across social media, even further shaping the public’s perception of the President. Joe Biden has embarrassed himself in numerous speeches and millennials across social media are expressing their lack of confidence in his cognitive decline with trending hashtags like “#BidenIsALaughingStock” and “#BidenWorstPresidentEver.”
“Here’s a scary thought. When they show us Joe Biden, they’re showing him at his absolute best. Imagine what he’s like when the cameras aren’t rolling,” says millennial and United States Representative Lauren Boebert on Twitter. Our younger generations are clamoring for a President who defies the archetype, and Biden is proving their point. In a study by YouGov, 52% of millennial participants say that their ideal president is under 50 years old, while 1% responded that they prefer a president in their 70s. As Biden continues to blunder, what young Americans want in a leader continues to be defined, which will inevitably impact the next election.
Although it has only been one year under the Biden administration, the pressure to “Build Back Better” is in full strength as the effects of the pandemic approach the two-year mark and have no signs of waning. Since inflation has exceeded 7% on the Consumer Price Index, the highest in four-decades, millennials and Gen-Z youth are finding it to be a challenge to afford homes, gas, groceries, schooling, and even used cars. This is particularly disconcerting for a generation amidst a crucial period of building their lives and futures.
A critical issue to young Americans was Biden’s promise for student-loan debt forgiveness, which has garnered limited attention from the current administration. As more millennials and Gen-Z Americans incur student-loan debt, this hot topic continues to be a contingency for presidential support amongst younger individuals. Borrowers entering the workforce combined with experiencing inflation are going to be the most disadvantaged by Biden’s inaction on his promises and will likely continue to lead the uproar to insight change.
“People are feeling like they’re getting less than they bargained for when they put Biden in office. There’s a lot of emotions, and none of them are good,” said the president of the Young Democrats of America in an interview with KXAN News. “I don’t know if the right word is ‘apoplectic’ or ‘demoralized.’ We’re down. We’re not seeing the results.” While politicians are already under a microscope, young Americans are becoming more invested in advocacy, protests, and political discourse, resulting in heightened scrutiny and accountability of figures such as President Biden.
After a year of despair, millennials and generation Z’ers are shifting their stance in reaction to the way our leaders are mishandling the multitude of issues currently underway in America. So, what does this mean for the rest of Biden’s term? Since the younger generations are typically key supporters of the Democratic party, hemorrhaging support for Biden will undoubtedly affect holding the majority in Congress entering 2022. In an otherwise politically polarized country, there may be one thing we are beginning to unite over – the disapproval of President Biden.