Thanks to Snowden, NSA spying, youths abandoning Obama

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Facebook,Polls,NSA,Edward Snowden,Twitter,Spying

Revelations from Edward Snowden that the administration is spying on the smartphones and computers of Americans is driving the nation’s youth from President Obama who they once embraced as their “hope and change” from the Bush years, according to new polling data.

By an overwhelming 70 percent, Americans aged 18-24 reject the type of spying being conducted by the National Security Agency in its search for terrorists, and they really hate the idea that their emails, texts, social networking and even GPS can be tracked by the Feds.

“Sometimes the people who are most disappointed by anything, it's because they are passionate and their expectations are so high,” said John Della Volpe, the pollster for Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. “I think those kinds of expectations are just different for younger people for lots of reasons, including the fact that this is their first opportunity to support somebody for president,” he added.

In a new IOP poll, Della Volpe revealed that Americans age 18-29 have given up hope on Obama. Just 41 percent approve of the president now.

Digging deep into the statistics reveals the many reasons they’ve abandoned Obama, key among them the spying scandal and the types of information the NSA is going after. It’s not that they like Snowden, said Della Volpe, it’s that they don’t like that they could be under the NSA’s microscope.

When asked, for example, if they would support the government collecting their information for national security reasons, just 11 percent would OK the government looking at their texts, 13 percent at their emails and 19 percent at the Facebook and Twitter pages.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.