Recent polls show President Barack Obama's approval rating is slumping, and his problems are especially acute among the millennial generation — aged 30 and younger, says Republican strategist Karl Rove.
"Particularly worrisome for the White House is the 17-point decline in job approval for Mr. Obama over the past month among people under 30 years of age," Rove writes in The Wall Street Journal.
"This is significant erosion in what CNN Polling Director Keating Holland calls one of 'the most loyal parts of the Obama coalition,'" Rove said.
In a June 13 CNN/ORC poll, Obama received an overall 45 percent approval rating, down 8 percentage points from mid-May.
CNN pollsters have indicated in public comments that the millennial generation is worried that the National Security Agency surveillance program threatens civil liberties, Rove says.
"The president didn't help himself by saying he welcomed a national debate on this topic and then remaining silent until Monday, when he defended the NSA's work in a television appearance with Charlie Rose on PBS," Rove states.
"And he may have created more problems when it comes to his veracity."
Obama claimed the NSA's program is transparent when it's not, nor should it be, Rove says. "Why reveal methods to the terrorist enemy so they can adjust to avoid detection?" he writes.
The president also went after conservative critics, saying "what amuses me is now folks on the right who are fine when there's a Republican president, but now, Obama's coming in with the black helicopters."
But, Rove states, "The president didn't seem to realize this statement opens him up to a charge of shameless opportunism. He opposed the surveillance program when it was conducted under a Republican administration and supports it now that he's in charge."
Others see problems for Obama and his fellow Democrats among voters younger than 30.
"Millennials backed Obama again in 2012, but their future as reliable Democratic voters is far less certain," Time magazine's Zeke Miller
wrote last month.
Obama may have garnered 60 percent of the 18-to-29-year-old vote last year, but that represented a 6 percentage point drop from 2008.
"They’ve been telling all of us that Washington is broken, and they have less trust in the institutions by the day," John Della Volpe, who polls millennials for Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, told Time. "And many stayed home as a result."
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