Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Are Young Voters Abandoning The Democrats? Not So Fast

Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke speaks at a campaign event Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, in Madison, Wis. Burke was joined by first lady Michelle Obama, who rallied young voters Tuesday in Wisconsin's race for governor, saying if they show up to vote Republican Gov. Scott Walker can be defeated. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) Morry Gash / AP

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Harvard's Institute of Politics on Wednesday released a new study of young voters that has produced some provocative headlines -- "Millennials Abandon Obama and Obamacare" and "Poll Shows Democrats Slipping Among Young Voters."

But a reality check: Most polls continue to show Democrats with a sizable advantage among young voters. For instance, our NBC/WSJ/Annenberg poll has interviewed a total of 4,368 likely voters this fall. And in this big sample, those who are 18 to 29 years old prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress by 10 points, 51 percent to 41 percent -- which is pretty much how they broke in the 2010 election (55 percent to 42 percent).

What's more, the Harvard poll shows that opinions among all 18-29 year olds have been relatively stable from 2010 to now.

From Harvard’s Fall 2010 survey:

Obama overall approval: 49%-48%

Overall Congressional Dem approval: 39%-57%

Overall Congressional GOP approval: 28%-68%

Congressional preference: Dem 53%-42%

From Harvard’s Fall 2014 survey:

Obama overall approval: 43%-53%

Overall Congressional Dem approval: 35%-60%

Overall Congressional GOP approval: 23%-72%

Overall Congressional preference: 50%-43%

What is true in the poll is that President Obama's approval rating among those 18-29 has decreased -- from 49 percent in 2010 to 43 percent now.

What's also true is that Republicans this year lead among the 26 percent of respondents who identified themselves as "definite" voters -- 51 percent prefer a GOP-controlled Congress, while 47 percent want a Dem-controlled one. (So this doesn't include those say they "probably will be voting" or are "50/50.")

And that likely could be the story this midterm season: Those most enthusiastic about voting in the 2014 midterms tend to be Republicans -- and maybe even among young voters, according to the Harvard poll.

But that’s not necessarily the case among all young voters.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.