That’s the headline you will not see. Instead, you will see this headline:
And this headline:
And this headline:
Because all those headline and story writers are comparing the Harvard poll in question to last fall, but Obama’s approval remains below where it was in November 2009 and far below where it was in 2008.
Look at the chart below from the Harvard poll. It shows increases in approval for everyone, including Republicans and Democrats in Congress. Here is the chart from the executive summary of the poll:
The Yutes is simply happier these days than a few months ago.
But it doesn’t stop there. Neither the headline-making report nor other Harvard poll reports that I could find measure attitudes towards Obama going back to the fall of 2008. But other surveys indicate Obama won the youth vote by far larger measures.
While the two data sets (job approval ratings versus actual vote) may not be identical, it is informative that Obama won the youth vote overwhelmingly in 2008:
Young voters [18-29] preferred Obama over John McCain by 68 percent to 30 percent — the highest share of the youth vote obtained by any candidate since exit polls began reporting results by age in 1976, according to CIRCLE, a non-partisan organization that promotes research on the political engagement of Americans between ages 15 and 25.
Compare that number to the number who now say, in the current Harvard poll, they will vote for Obama over a generic Republican opponent:
Obama’s support among young voters has dropped from 68% who voted for him in 2008 to 38% who now say they will vote for him now (“unsure” was not on the ballot in 2008, so it’s hard to account for that, but clearly Obamamania among the youths has dropped).
So there we have it. Everyone is rising in approval ratings of young voters since last fall, and Obama’s support among young voters remains far below fall 2008 and even below fall 2009.
But what do we get in the headlines? The same thing we got in 2008, Obamamania.