POLITICS
12/06/2013 04:43 pm ET

HUFFPOLLSTER: Putting Obama's Falling Millennial Support Into Perspective

Pool via Getty Images

Gallup puts Obama's approval decline among younger Americans into perspective. Stan Greenberg recalls his work for Nelson Mandela. And Americans are split as to whether fleets of miniature gift-bearing drones are "scary" or "cool." This is HuffPollster for Friday, December 6, 2013.

YOUNG AMERICANS' APPROVAL OF OBAMA REMAINS ABOVE AVERAGE - Frank Newport, responding to the results of a Harvard poll that showed Obama's approval rating among millennials tracking with his rating among all adults: "From a broad perspective, our monthly estimates certainly confirm the general thrust of the Harvard IOP study that the “premium” Obama enjoys among young Americans is diminishing, although we conclude that it has not yet disappeared. Young people still give Obama above average approval ratings, and -- as we will see -- older Americans give him below average approval ratings….Younger Americans have consistently given Obama the highest ratings of the four major age groups since 2009. And older Americans (65+) are consistently the lowest of the four major age groups in their approval of Obama across time. As noted, there is a tightening of the gap between younger Americans and the other three age groups in recent months. Obama has lost approval across all four age groups since his recent high point late last fall, concomitant with his re-election and its immediate aftermath. But the drop is somewhat larger among the young….The concern for Democrats would be a transmutation of lack of approval for Obama into lowered support for Democratic candidates in future elections, such as 2014 and 2016, given that younger voters have been a core area of strength for Democrats in many recent elections. That said, young people have the distinct disadvantage of not being as interested in following politics and therefore a lower expected turnout rate on Election Day." [Gallup]

2013-12-06-ObamaApprovalByAge2.png

MANDELA'S RELEASE GAVE BLACK SOUTH AFRICANS NATIONAL PRIDE - John Sides: "One sign of apartheid’s impact was evident in a simple survey question: “How proud are you to be South African?” This is a question that has been asked in many countries in multiple years and it almost always elicits an strong sense of pride. But in apartheid South Africa, there was a striking gap between whites and blacks: In 1982, whites were nearly unanimous in expressing some degree of pride as South Africans (98%), but barely half of blacks (57%) did so. This gap is a stark reminder of how deeply the effects of apartheid were felt. It was not just a question of opposing a white-led government. Among blacks, there was a profound alienation from the state itself. But the release of Mandela from prison in February 1990 and the early signs of apartheid’s end — such as negotiations between the white-led government and the African National Congress that spring and summer — appeared to close this gap. In the 1990 survey, which was fielded in October and November, 93% of whites and 90% of blacks expressed pride." [WashPost's Monkey Cage]

STAN GREENBERG RECALLS WORKING FOR MANDELA - "I spent a good two decades writing and working to defeat an apartheid South Africa – the greatest injustice of our time. So, when I was asked to work for Mandela and the ANC, I threw myself into it body and soul– despite the fact that I was serving as President Bill Clinton’s pollster at the time. They became such comrades in arms too. I wrote about President Mandela in Dispatches from the War Room – and everyone touched by Madiba has their own special insights. He was pragmatic, respectful of his opponents, always learning with an earnestness and innocence. You’d find him at home in bed with the massive debate briefing books propped up on his legs, studying. And he would listen – until he decided what was right, and then he would be unwavering and brutal with his opponents. Frank Greer and I tried to get him to be hopeful in the debate with De Klerk and not attack all the time. He totally ignored us and attacked brutally because he thought the security forces were responsible for the ongoing black-on-black violence….He never wavered on the principles of a multi-racial South Africa and one-man-one- vote. When I would show him the polls where the ANC was getting well over 60 percent, all he wanted to know was how low the vote of the Pan African Congress was– the black nationalist and black consciousness movement that he struggled to defeat throughout his life. He wanted to smash them: 2 percent was his goal. He was relentless for his unwavering purpose." [GQRR]

-How South Africa has -- and hasn't -- changed in Mandela's lifetime. [Pew Research]

-68 percent of U.S. adults rated Mandela favorably in 2011. [Rasmussen Reports]

AMAZON DELIVERY BY DRONE? NOT SO FAST - Emily Swanson: "Americans aren't so sure they like the idea of allowing Amazon to deploy a fleet of miniature delivery drones, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. Most of them also believe the plan could become a reality within the next decade. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos told "60 Minutes" last week that his company hopes to roll out deliveries directly to customers' doorsteps via miniature drones, which the company calls "octocopters," within the next 4--5 years. The poll found Americans are largely undecided about whether an Amazon drone delivery program is a good idea or a bad one, with 23 percent saying it's a good idea, 36 percent saying it's a bad idea, and another 41 percent saying they're not sure...And 47 percent of respondents said they think allowing private companies to use drone delivery would be unsafe, while only 18 percent said it would be safe. That anxiety was apparent when respondents were asked to choose one or more word to describe Amazon's plan. While 31 percent said they thought the idea was "cool," an equal 31 percent described it as "scary." Twenty-three percent described it as "goofy." [HuffPost]

HUFFPOLLSTER VIA EMAIL! - You can receive this daily update every weekday via email! Just enter your email address in the box on the upper right corner of this page, and click "sign up." That's all there is to it (and you can unsubscribe anytime).

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

-A majority of Americans want the ACA scaled back or repealed. [Gallup]

-Americans are less concerned about the gap between rich and poor than those in other countries. [Pew Research]

-PPP (D) finds split opinions of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Co.). [PPP]

-Afghans are afraid of international troops, a poll finds. [NBC]

-Scott Clement examines why Hispanics have been more volatile in their ratings of President Obama. [WaPost]

-Kristen Soltis Anderson (R) named one of Time's 30 People Under 30 Changing the World. [Time]

-Anderson sees an opportunity for Republicans among college age Americans. [Daily Beast]

-Jonathan Bernstein is skeptical of poll questions asking young people their future intentions regarding health insurance. [Plain Blog]

-Jay Cost sees "surprisingly favorable" terrain for Republicans in 2014. [Weekly Standard]

-Al From worries that demography has made Democrats too complacent about its 2016 prospects. [National Journal]

-Duke student Gautam Hathi summarizes the reasons why technology was not a silver bullet for Obama in 2008 or 2012. [Duke via @BrendanNyhan]

-"Do you like the data in a table? In a tweet? In a speech? Do you like the numbers in a box? Do you like them with a fox?" [Susannah Fox]

CONVERSATIONS