Barring a dramatic action such as canceling student loan debt, President Joe Biden has largely lost the support of young Americans, according to Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
In a recent interview, Ocasio-Cortez talked about the challenges facing the Democratic Party as the fall elections approach, and many Democrats fear they will lose the majority they have held in the House of Representatives since 2018.
“We need to acknowledge that this isn’t just about middle of the road, increasingly narrow band of independent voters,” she said, according to the New York Post.
“But this is really about the collapse of support among young people, among Democratic base, feeling like they worked overtime to get this president elected, and they aren’t necessarily being seen.”
Polls back up Biden’s fall among young voters.
A Harvard Youth Poll of 18- to 29-year-olds in December showed that Biden’s approval rating, which had been 59 percent last March, was at 46 percent.
A CBS report on a CBS News/YouGov poll in January showed that Biden had a 70 percent approval rating among voters under 30 in February 2021, but only a 42 percent rating in January 2022.
“We’re at a really critical point — there’s what’s going on nationally and what’s going on locally,” Ocasio-Cortez said in the interview, according to New York 1. “As a federal official, I think some of the greatest threats that are happening to our country overall have to do with the state of U.S. democracy.”
Ocasio-Cortez said the answer to winning back young voters is simple – cancel student loan debt.
“It is Biden’s power and ability to cancel student debt, and nobody else’s,” she said, according to the Post.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Biden doesn’t have the authority to cancel that debt.
“People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness,” Pelosi said in July, according to Forbes. “He does not. He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power.”
Pelosi said student-loan forgiveness can be granted only through “an act of Congress.”
Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, said during her interview that “time for the administration is running out.”
“And we do not have much more time to wait because [of] these falling poll numbers.”
Young voters “don’t seem to be inspired by Biden, and I think their turnout will fall back to traditional levels,” Republican consultant John Brabender predicted, according to CNN.
“They are not going to show up in a mid-term election to support a president that they are not … enthusiastic about,” he said.
Democratic pollster Ben Tulchin said the Biden administration needs young voters in order for Democrats to remain in control of Congress.
“My stern warning to the Biden administration and Democrats is you have to take this seriously, because if we do go back to a 2010 or 2014 model where they really fall off, it’s going to make it very difficult for us in November,” Tulchin said.
Bob Brandon, president and CEO of the Fair Elections Center, said Biden is being judged on his performance.
“Young people turned out in huge numbers; basically they won the election” for Democrats, he said. “And what have they seen delivered? That’s the issue. Unfortunately, like the public at large, all the stuff that has been delivered just doesn’t feel like it.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.