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President Obama's Approval Rating Improves Among Millennials, Latinos

First Posted: May 14, 2015 05:00 AM EDT
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President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party members in Congress received better approval ratings than Republicans based on polling data on millennials.

According to Harvard University Institute of Politics' (IOP) "Survey of Young Americans' Attitudes Toward Politics and Public Service," Obama's job approval rating increased during its latest polling period compared to data released in October 2014. Millennials, which the White House categorized as Americans born between 1980 and mid-2000s, approved of Obama's work with 50 percent, an increase from October's 43 percent.

Based on the Harvard IOP polling history of millennials, which were Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 years old, Obama's peak was 58 percent in November 2009, while the lowest approval rating from millennials was 41 percent in November 2013.

Among U.S. Latinos, Obama's approval rating increased by double digits. The latest figures saw Latinos approve the president with 65 percent, a 16-percentage point increase from October 2014's 49 percent. Obama's approval rating from Latino millennials was November 2009 with 81 percent, while the lowest was 49 percent last October.

Must Read: Millennials Demographic Trends: Democratic Party Preferred Among Millennials Ahead of 2016 Presidential Election  

College-educated millennials appeared to be split over Obama's handling as president as it hit 50 percent, but it is an improvement of last October's 42 percent.

With overall millennials, 50 percent have approved of his handling on race relations and climate change. His handling on the economy received 47 percent approval, an increase from November 2014's 36 percent. Obama's job performance on health care may need improvement as he received 43 percent, a slight increase from last November's 37 percent.

Congressional Democrats received better approval ratings than Republicans. Millennials gave Democrats a 40 percent job approval rating, an increase from last October's 35 percent. Republicans' approval rating remained flat at 23 percent, which is the same percentage for Harvard IOP's last two polls in April and November 2014.

Despite the support for Democrats, most millennial identified themselves as an independent (40 percent). Millennials affiliated with the Democratic Party was close behind with 37 percent, while 22 percent of respondents affiliated with the GOP. Most millennials, with 79 percent, said they do not consider themselves politically engaged. Twenty-one percent of millennial do consider themselves politically engaged.

Millennial political engagement varied. The most popular political-engagement option was signing an online petition, regardless of political party affiliation. Political engagement through social media was also popular, namely Facebook and Twitter.

Latino millennials were most engaged on Facebook. Most Latinos participating in the survey, with 78 percent, had a Facebook account. Instagram was the second most popular option with 49 percent, followed by Twitter with 37 percent. Pinterest and Snapchat tied for fourth place with 29 percent each.

The Harvard University IOP poll was conducted between March 8 and April 1.

Must Read: Millennials and the U.S. Economy: White House Publishes 'Economic Facts' About Millennials' Benefits to U.S.

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