Obamacare Approval Ratings High Among Millennials. But Obama? Not So Much

Source: AP
Source: AP

The less-than-stellar launch of the online health insurance exchange site has prompted harsh criticism from both sides of the political divide, with virtually everyone mocking the supposedly tech-savvy administration's inability to manage a simple website.

Obamacare opponents have cited the tumultuous launch of the website as a broader symbol of big government failure. Several conservative commentators have focused specifically on millennial voters, suggesting that the flawed website will frustrate young people to the point that they will shift allegiances and ultimately vote against the Democrats in 2014 and 2016.

But in spite of all the glitches and missteps of the past month, recent Gallup polls show that young voters' support of the Affordable Care Act remains high. In fact, millennials are the only age group with a majority that supports the law. This is hardly surprising, as the shortcomings of the Healthcare.gov website do not equate to a failure of the ACA as a whole, which is set to be fully implemented in 2014. Furthermore, millions of millennials are benefiting from other provisions of the law that have already taken effect, such as the ability to remain on a parent's insurance plan until age 26 and the guarantee that insurance companies cannot deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions.

But millennials' support for the Affordable Care Act does not appear to transfer to President Obama, the law's namesake and chief proponent.

According to the most recent Gallup poll, 51% of young voters approve of Obamacare, whereas only 45% currently approve of President Obama's job performance. Essentially, there are more millennials who approve of Obamacare than who approve of President Obama.

Given the fact that President Obama was able to sweep both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections with 66-60% of the youth vote respectively, his current approval ratings reflect a dramatic fall from grace among millennial voters, despite their general support for his signature legislation.

What does all of this mean for future candidates and parties hoping to court the youth vote? Perhaps politicians should shift their focus away from calls to repeal or replace Obamacare, and instead tap into millennials' disappointment over President Obama's unfulfilled promises on jobs, the economy, education, immigration, and government transparency. But instead, it appears as though all systems are locked and loaded for a 2014 midterm election battle over health care, a strategy that will likely fail to appeal to the millennial voters that the GOP so desperately needs.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Swathi Nallapa

Swathi is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Political Science at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She is also a pre-medical student in the MedStart BS/MD program, with a passion for serving underprivileged communities both in Detroit and abroad.

MORE FROM

Hillary Clinton says Republicans will be the "death party" if they pass health care bill

Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Republican's proposed bill on Twitter.

It's time to redefine the clitoris, according to sex education experts

"Words matter. They shape and mold our ideas and beliefs about our purpose, our bodies, our self-worth and our place in the world around us."

Al-Jazeera becomes a target amid Qatar diplomatic crisis

Gulf states are demanding the broadcaster be shut down.

5 blocks of London apartments to be evacuated over potentially flammable cladding

800 North London apartments will be evacuated following a fire inspection that turned up evidence that the buildings could be unsafe.

Tomi Lahren wants to rally women to her side after criticizing feminists and "pro-choicers"

"My view on abortion is not black-and-white," Lahren said.

These 5 states are drafting laws to limit protests on college campuses

The legislation is intended to protect free speech on campus.

Hillary Clinton says Republicans will be the "death party" if they pass health care bill

Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Republican's proposed bill on Twitter.

It's time to redefine the clitoris, according to sex education experts

"Words matter. They shape and mold our ideas and beliefs about our purpose, our bodies, our self-worth and our place in the world around us."

Al-Jazeera becomes a target amid Qatar diplomatic crisis

Gulf states are demanding the broadcaster be shut down.

5 blocks of London apartments to be evacuated over potentially flammable cladding

800 North London apartments will be evacuated following a fire inspection that turned up evidence that the buildings could be unsafe.

Tomi Lahren wants to rally women to her side after criticizing feminists and "pro-choicers"

"My view on abortion is not black-and-white," Lahren said.

These 5 states are drafting laws to limit protests on college campuses

The legislation is intended to protect free speech on campus.