Last week we released our 23rd national poll on Millennial political viewpoints. The results provided us with some harsh realizations about engaging America's 18- to 29- year-olds in the political process. Overall, we found that Millennials are discouraged by what they see in Washington and are continually becoming more partisan and committed to their political parties.
This, of course, is not a good sign for the future of the country. It is more important than ever that we continue to inspire this generation to commit themselves to public service and go out and change what they see. Below are three of the more disheartening findings from our spring poll.
1. Sharp partisanship continues to grow among millennials
Since November 2009, IOP polling has tracked how members of each party rate President Obama’s job performance eight times, and the difference between the way that Democrats and Republicans view the President has never been more dramatic than in the last six months. For example, 86 percent of Democrats approve of his job performance, while only 10 percent of Republicans feel the same, resulting in a net difference of 74 percentage points. When the same question was asked one year ago, the difference between Democrats and Republicans was 63 percentage points; in November 2009 during the health care debate, the divide was 65 percentage points.
2. Millennials helped re-elect President Obama but disapprove of his performance on key issues
Although Millennials helped re-elect the President in November, a majority of millennials disapprove of the way Obama is handling key issues, including gun violence, the economy, Iran, health care and the federal budget deficit. The President received the highest approval ratings on his handling of Iran and health care and the lowest on the federal budget deficit and the economy.
3. Except for Military, Millennials' trust of institutions down across the board
The overall level of trust that young Americans have in each of our major institutions has continued to slide since 2010 for all but the United States military. Since March 2012, the level of trust Millennials have in every noted institution has decreased. Millennials' trust of the media is the lowest at 11%, followed by Wall Street at 12%.
We would like for these results to spark a discussion. What more can we be doing to encourage young Americans to become engaged? How can we inspire this generation to change what they see is wrong in Washington?