Obama Job Approval Dipping, Mostly Due to Economic Approval, Young Adults

Americans' opinion of President Barack Obama's performance as president has been dipping, mostly due to his handling of the economy, with the biggest drop among young adults.

His job approval rating has declined to 44 percent, in a recent Gallup poll, a three percentage point drop in two months. The biggest change, though, came when the poll asked how Obama is doing on the economy. In two months, his economic job approval dropped seven percentage points, from 42 to 35 percent.

Among all the issues asked about in the poll, Obama's job approval on the economy is second lowest after the federal budget deficit, which saw a five percentage point drop from 31 to 26 percent. His economic job approval is also similar to his ratings on taxes, which dropped five percentage points, from 41 to 36 percent.

Obama's highest job approval numbers came with race relations (51 percent), terrorism (50 percent), and education (49 percent).

Using data from Gallup's daily tracking poll, political forecaster Harry J. Enten found that Obama's biggest drop in job approval since last Fall has been among young adults.

Obama's job approval dropped 9.3 percentage points from October-November to July-August among those aged 18 to 29, compared to 5.7 percentage points for 30 to 49 year olds, 1.5 percentage points for 50 to 64 year olds and 2.7 percentage points among those over 65.

Obama still has his highest approval rating among young adults, at about 52 percent, compared to other age groups, but that is a sharp drop from the low 60's approval numbers he used to have from that group.

Enten suggests two possible reasons Obama has seen a drop in support among young adults. The first is the National Security Administration scandal. Younger voters were more likely than other age groups to be upset at the revelations that the NSA was collecting private information, such as phone records.

The other possible reason is that young people are more likely to be impacted by the poor economy. While the national unemployment rate is at 7.6 percent, the rate is 16 percent for young adults.

Obama's loss among young voters is not necessarily Republican's gain, Enten points out.

"Although presidential approval is highly correlated with election results, you still need to present some sort of a message that actually appeals to younger voters to win them over. I haven't seen much evidence yet that Republicans are doing that," he wrote.

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