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HUFFPOLLSTER: Another Poll Highlights Democrats' Midterm Young Voter Problem

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YOUNG VOTER
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Millennials like progressive ideas, but aren't too keen about actually voting. Congressional leaders are still deeply unpopular. And it's pollster conference time! This is HuffPollster for Thursday, May 15, 2014.

MILLENNIALS COULD PROP UP DEMOCRATS -- IF THEY GO TO THE POLLS - Obama pollsters Harstad Research (D) conducted an online survey of millennials age 18--31 for the Youth Engagement Fund and Project New America. Youth Engagement Fund director Alexandra Acker-Lyons writes in the press release: "'If progressives are going to win in November, they must increase turn out by Millennials. It doesn’t get any simpler than that...On issue after issue, Millennials favor progressive solutions by wide margins – especially when it comes to economic opportunity and pocketbook security." The poll finds majority support for a wide range of progressive issue like equal pay, gun background checks, and a minimum wage increase, as well as support for government's role in society -- 60 percent say they'd prefer the government "on their side" than "off their back". But it also finds just 28 percent of millennials say they'll definitely vote in 2014 (slightly higher than an earlier millennial poll from Harvard, in which 23 percent said the same.) [Toplines, Presentation]

Just 3 in 10 Obama voters certain they'll turn out for Dems - Aaron Blake, reviewing the results of the Harstad poll: "Only 30 percent of young people who voted for Obama in 2012 say that they will 'definitely' vote for a Democrat for Congress in 2014, and only another 7 percent say they will 'probably' vote for Democrats. The remaining 13 percent are 'iffy.' While millennials voted for Obama 63 percent to 33 percent in 2012 -- a 30-point margin -- they are significantly less Democratic-leaning heading into the 2014 election. These numbers actually look a lot like they did four years ago. While young voters favored Obama by 34 points in 2008, they tilted in Democrats' favor by just 16 points in 2010 -- about half the margin. This poll suggests Obama's margin will drop from 30 points in 2012 to around 15 points in 2014 -- again, about half the margin.
A repeat of 2010, of course, is not quite what Democrats are hoping for this year." [WashPost]

Chart by Harstad for PNA and the Youth Engagement Fund

AMERICANS STILL DON'T LIKE CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS - Joy Wilke: "Americans' views of each of the four leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate continue to be more negative than positive....John Boehner, who has served as the Republican leader of the House since 2006 and became speaker in 2011, enjoyed generally positive and neutral net favorability ratings between 2009 and 2011. His highest net favorable rating was in January 2011 when he became speaker, but fell later that same year. His rating has recovered somewhat from its lowest point during the government shutdown in late 2013, when Americans' unfavorable opinions of him outweighed favorable attitudes by 24 points. Americans' views of Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who served as speaker from 2007 to 2011, remained mostly positive through 2008. She also enjoyed a surge in positivity in early 2007 when she became speaker. Since 2009, however, her unfavorable ratings have consistently overshadowed her favorable ratings by at least 12 points. Democratic leader Harry Reid's net favorable now stands at -14, off its peak of +8 in 2006. Reid has not received a positive net favorable since 2007. Republican Mitch McConnell's net favorable is slightly worse at -17. Gallup has yet to measure a net positive score for McConnell since first asking about him in March 2010." [Gallup]

AAPOR KICKS OFF - The American Association for Public Opinion Research starts its annual conference Thursday in Anaheim, with panels on survey methods, transparency, the upcoming election, and more. [AAPOR]

Half of team HuffPollster is there to report further news. In the meantime, a sampling of pollster humor:

MassINC Pollster Steve Koczela: "Sitting here staring at overlapping dual frame dataset with 1 small area oversample, and this pops up. Thanks #AAPOR." @skoczela]

@FakeAAPOR: "With this crowd, there'll be plenty of 'Both' (VOL) MT @AAPOR: Be there or be square! #AAPOR 2014 Registration & Presentation Drop Off open" [@FakeAAPOR]

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THURSDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Quinnipiac finds Hillary Clinton leading GOP 2016 rivals in Ohio, even as Obama's ratings continue to sink. [Quinnipiac]

-Fox News finds Obama's approval rating recovering. [Fox]

-A SurveyUSA poll of South Dakota gives Mike Rounds (R) a 14-point lead over Rick Weiland (D). [KSFY]

-A Loras College poll finds Joni Ernst taking the lead in Iowa's GOP primary. [Loras]

-A Benenson (D) poll for Third Way finds that moderates are engaged in politics, but at odds with both parties' more ideological wings. [State of the Center]

-Afghanistan's presidential runoff is a dead heat, but there are hopeful signs both sides will accept the election's outcome. [Langer Research]

-Sabato's Crystal Ball moves the Arkansas Senate race to "tossup." [UVA]

-Harry Enten looks at Marco Rubio's declining ratings. [538]

-Christopher Ingraham lists America's most gerrymandered districts. [WashPost]