Progressives say climate inaction and student debt explain declining support for Biden among young voters

Progressive political watchers said Monday that peripheral pundits shouldn’t be surprised by President Joe Biden’s plummeting approval rating among voters under 34, given the Democratic Party’s failure to pass anti-poverty or climate action measures, and to address the student debt crisis after the president garnered significant support from young people in the 2020 election.

A poll by online polling firm Civiqs showed on Sunday that while just 36% of voters aged 18 to 34 disapproved of Biden on his inauguration day in January 2021 and 48% approved, those numbers have now changed significantly, with 55% of respondents saying they think Biden is doing a poor job as president.

The survey results were released four days after Gallup released a poll showing that support for the president among voters aged 18 to 25 has fallen 21 points since January 2021 and among voters aged 26 at 41 by 19 points.

Another poll released last Wednesday by Quinnipiac University watch only 21% of respondents aged 18-34 approve of Biden.

On Twitter Monday, Voice journalist Zack Beauchamp called Biden’s collapse in support for ‘mysterious’ young voters – a claim that sparked a torrent of responses from progressives who highlighted young people’s urgent calls for bold policy changes to ease the climate crisis and close the climate gap. wealth in the United States, which have been largely ignored by the administration or hobbled by right-wing members of Biden’s party.

“Compare the life a young person had in January 2021 … to the life they have now and I think you’ll get a lot of the answer,” said Ryan Grim, Washington, D.C. bureau chief for The interception.

The recent poll follows the breakdown late last year of negotiations on the Build Back Better Act, the president’s domestic spending bill that would have invested $1.75 trillion over 10 years to provide millions of families with monthly child tax credits; encourage the use of renewable energy by public services; provide free, universal pre-kindergarten to children and take other measures to help middle- and low-income households.

It also comes as economic justice advocates push for the White House to take executive action to address the student loan crisis by broadly canceling the debt of more than 43 million Americans who owe an average of more than $37,000 to their education.

Like Common dreams reported in March, voters in their late teens, 20s and 30s were clear in their demands for bold climate action, calling on Biden to declare a national climate emergency – which would allow him to allocate federal resources specifically to the issue – and to create millions of sustainable jobs while tackling the climate crisis by passing a Green New Deal.

Biden, however, responded by approving oil and gas drilling permits at a faster rate than former Republican President Donald Trump and refusing to ban crude oil exports.

Kate Aronoff from The nation tweeted On Monday, there are “probably a decent number of young people not at all thrilled to see the administration sucking on fossil fuel leaders as the Earth rapidly loses its ability to sustain life.”

Biden’s plummeting support among young voters represents a significant loss of an age group that was instrumental in securing the White House for the Democratic Party, noted Jeet Heer, columnist for The nation.

According to the Pew Research Center, Biden won a majority of voters under 49, and his strongest support came from people under 30.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, professor of African-American studies at Princeton University and writer at the new yorkeralso noted that Biden took office less than a year after a national uprising against racial injustice and police brutality – only to disparage the organizers of that movement in his State of the Union address earlier this year and provide more than $32 million in funding for policing.

When the Democratic Party is faced with demands for progressive policies, Taylor said, “it’s always ‘wait’ which inevitably turns into ‘never’ and that’s why young people and all working people are so fed up.”