The Harvard Institute of Politics said there has been a marked drop in political enthusiasm among those aged 18 to 29 in the past few months. In November, 34 percent of that age group said they would probably vote.
The news is bad for the Democrats, since the current generation of 20-somethings tends to lean in their direction. Even worse, the poll found, that millennials with conservative views are more likely to say they will be voting than those who lean liberal.
“It’s been clear for some time now that young people are growing more disillusioned and disconnected from Washington,” John Della Volpe, the institute's polling director, said. “There’s an erosion of trust in the individuals and institutions that make government work -- and now we see the lowest level of interest in any election we’ve measured since 2000. Young people still care about our country, but we will likely see more volunteerism than voting in 2014.”
President Obama's approval rating has moved up to 47 percent among millennials from a low of 41 percent in November. But only 33 percent of young whites gave the president a positive rating compared to 83 percent of blacks and 60 percent of Hispanics.
The poll found that 44 percent of millennials support legalizing marijuana, while 34 percent oppose it and 22 percent are unsure. Curiously, those in their late teens and early 20s are less likely to support legal pot than those in their late 20s.
Whites tend to favor legalization while blacks and Hispanics are split on the issue.
The poll surveyed 3,058 U.S. citizens between the ages of 18 and 29 between March 22 and April 4. The margin of error is 1.8 percentage points.