Biden gets a briefing on where younger voters stand
Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics pollsters and their students briefed President Biden Monday on their Spring 2022 Harvard Youth Poll, according to people familiar with the matter, in a discussion that focused on the political views of LGBTQ young people, the state of democracy and concerns over a mental health crisis, among other topics.
Biden engaged the students on this set of topics, expressed pride about his diverse cabinet and federal judicial nominees and shared his belief that the U.S. is at a critical point in history in the battle of democracy versus autocracy, according to a person familiar with the meeting who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private event.
Biden quizzed undergrad students Alan Zhang, chair of the Harvard Public Opinion Project, and Jing-Jing Shen, former chair of the project, on the most significant findings of the poll, according to a person familiar with the meeting.
Zhang shared his concerns about threats to democracy, underscoring the poll’s findings that 59 percent of young Democrats and 61 percent of young Republicans see the other party as a threat to democracy.
- Shen, according to a second person, shared with Biden her concerns about mental health, telling the president that 71 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 agree that there’s a mental health crisis in America — a sentiment Biden acknowledged and said he heard regularly about from Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, and via conservations with his grandchildren.
The group also met Tuesday with the National Republican Senate Committee to discuss the poll’s findings and in previous years have met with White House officials, including during the Trump and Obama administrations.
LGBTQ youth feel under attack
Nearly half (45 percent) of LGBTQ youth, according to the poll, feel under attack “a lot” due to their sexual orientation. Out of the 24 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds who report having thoughts of self-harm in the past two weeks, those feelings are most prevalent in LGBTQ (39 percent), Black (35 percent), and Asian American and Pacific Islander (33 percent) youth.
The stark findings come as several leading Republicans have reignited a culture war over sexual orientation and gender identity ahead of November’s midterm elections. In Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into a law a measure that restricts LGBTQ discussion in schools.
The GOP focus on the LGBTQ community has stood out, in part, because it follows the rapid escalation in public support for LGBTQ rights in recent years. How the policies being endorsed or implemented by Republicans across the country will affect the midterm elections is unclear, but the poll, which focuses on people aged 18 to 29, showed it could turn off younger voters.
Twenty-one percent of the people surveyed by Harvard identify as LGBTQ, and young LGBTQ voters are much more likely to be politically engaged, according Harvard IOP Director John Della Volpe, who served as one of Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign pollsters and authored “Fight: How Gen Z is Channeling Their Fear and Passion to Save America.”
Biden popularity dropping
Some of the poll’s findings mirrored those of broader public opinion surveys for the president.
Biden’s approval rating among young Americans has fallen to 41 percent, according to the poll — that’s five percentage points down from the fall edition.
“Only 69 percent of young Americans who voted for President Biden in 2020 approve of his job performance today,” Della Volpe said on a press call earlier this week. “Those people who disapprove today, but who voted for him just a year and a half ago — they rate him much more harshly on the economy.”
McCarthy faces his party for the first time since leaked Trump audio
Happening today: House Republicans will hold a routine conference meeting, but the moment will be anything but routine for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). He’ll face fellow House Republicans for the first time since a series of recordings were released by two New York Times reporters in advance of the release of a new book that show him criticizing former president Donald Trump and members of his conference in the days following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
Lordy, there are more tapes: McCarthy “feared in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack that several far-right members of Congress would incite violence against other lawmakers, identifying several by name as security risks in private conversations with party leaders,” the New York Times’ Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin report.
- “McCarthy talked to other congressional Republicans about wanting to rein in multiple hard-liners who were deeply involved in Trump’s efforts to contest the 2020 election and undermine the peaceful transfer of power,” according to an audio recording obtained by the Times.
- “But McCarthy did not follow through on the sterner steps that some Republicans encouraged him to take, opting instead to seek a political accommodation with the most extreme members of the GOP in the interests of advancing his own career.”
- “In the phone call with other Republican leaders on Jan. 10, McCarthy referred chiefly to two representatives, Matt Gaetz of Florida and Mo Brooks of Alabama, as endangering the security of other lawmakers and the Capitol complex. But he and his allies discussed several other representatives who made comments they saw as offensive or dangerous, including Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Barry Moore of Alabama.”
The Hill has eyes (on McCarthy): The Times’ latest revelations have prompted the House committee investigating the attack on the Capitol to redouble its efforts to have McCarthy appear for an interview, per AP News’ Lisa Mascaro and Kevin Freking.
- “Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said the panel expects to decide this week about issuing a second request to McCarthy, who has declined to voluntarily appear before the panel. The committee is also looking at summoning a widening group of House Republicans for interviews, Thompson said, as more information emerges about their conversations with the Trump White House in the run-up to the Capitol siege.”
U.S. nears 1 million covid-19 deaths
Happening today: Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) will hold a press conference with covid activists as the country closes in on a once-unthinkable milestone: 1 million covid deaths. More than 991,000 Americans have died of covid, according to The Post’s tracker, although the rate at which Americans are dying has fallen sharply in recent weeks.
Trump’s Georgia allies are running on 2020 grievance, but it may not work
Let go and let GOP: “David Perdue’s quest to unseat a longtime friend and fellow Republican, Gov. Brian Kemp, drew some cheers Monday evening at a gathering of about 50 Republicans around a pickup truck in the deeply conservative [Watkinsville, Ga.,] about 70 miles east of Atlanta,” our colleagues Matt Brown, Amy Gardner and Josh Dawsey report. “The former U.S. senator spent most of his nine-minute stump speech embracing unproven claims that fraud tainted the 2020 election — and accusing Kemp of doing nothing about it.”
- “In theory, it’s the sort of message that should appeal to Don McGeary, a retired banker and supporter of Trump who believes the fraud claims. But McGeary, 71, was not impressed.”
- “We can’t do anything about it,” McGeary said about the 2020 result, adding that he intends to vote for Kemp. “It’s water over the dam, under the bridge, however you want to refer to it. Let’s get over it and get on with our lives.”
- “Unfortunately for Perdue — and for Trump — many Republican voters in Georgia appear to agree … With less than a month to go before the May 24 primary, Perdue’s laserlike focus on election fraud seems to be falling flat. Kemp, who has assiduously avoided criticizing Trump, has logged double-digit leads in recent public polls and enjoys a vast fundraising advantage.”
- “The race, perhaps more than any other in the country, represents a test: both of the power of Trump’s endorsement and the potency of his false 2020 fraud claims as a motivating force among Republican voters this year. A Perdue defeat could help define the limits to both.”
Biden, Clintons to speak at Madeleine Albright’s funeral
Happening today: Biden and an array of current and former U.S. officials, lawmakers, foreign diplomats and world leaders will gather at the Washington National Cathedral to pay their respects to Madeleine Albright.
Biden, former president Bill Clinton, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Albright’s three daughters are expected to eulogize the country’s first female secretary of state in front of more than 1,400 guests. The attendees include former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, current secretary of state Antony Blinken, former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and John Kerry, and the presidents of Georgia and Kosovo.
Albright, 84, died of cancer in March.
Who voted for Stan Lee and Geraldo Rivera?
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism