Earlier this week, CNN released its latest job approval ratings for President Barack Obama. As noted on Monday, the poll found that Americans have soured on Obama, correlating with the string of scandals that have emerged out of his administration over the last two months.
In May, President Obama enjoyed a 53/44 approval rating. But the latest CNN poll shows that the numbers have nearly reversed, now standing at 45/54. The most interesting aspect of this poll is the significant drop in support from Americans between the ages of 18 and 34, a voting bloc that helped propel President Obama to the White House in 2008 and to re-election last year.
In May, President Obama held a 63/34 approval rating among this age group. But in June, that his approval rating with young voters was underwater, at 48/50. That’s a 15-point drop.
In an interview with CNN on Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) attributed the drop in support among young voters to the recent NSA scandal and explained that it gives Republicans an opportunity for outreach.
“You know, there was a poll out just this week that said well over 60 percent of Republicans think the NSA has gone too far; that they think your private phone calls and your records, [the government] should have to have a warrant,” said Paul.” I think as we have a full debate on these issues, you’re going to find that not only Republicans are with me on this issue — the youth are.
“President Obama lost 20 points among young voters in the last month, and the reason he did so is because they see him now as a hypocrite who is unwilling to defend the privacy of the Internet,” noted Paul. “I think issues like this resonate beyond the Republican label, and I think they’re going to help us become a bigger national party.”
Young voters have a strong skepticism to government surveillance, but they’ve been let down time and time again by President Obama. Right now, only a handful of Republicans — including Paul, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI), Tom Graves (R-GA), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) — are taking a strong stand against the broad surveillance conducted by the NSA that is a real threat to civil liberties.
Paul has a great point. There is indeed a huge window opening for Republicans — they just need the will to seize it.