A newly released survey shows approximately half of Americans have an unfavorable view of socialism, but nearly half of Democrats have a favorable opinion of socialism. The poll also found 20 percent of Democrats self-identify as socialists compared to only nine percent of the general population.
YouGov asked 1,000 American adults from Oct. 15-16, “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of socialism?”
Only a quarter of all Americans responded that they have a “very favorable” (seven percent) or “somewhat favorable” (18 percent) opinion of socialism.
In contrast, nearly half of Democrats (49 percent) reported having a “very favorable” (16 percent) or “somewhat favorable” (33 percent) opinion of socialism.
The poll also found about half of Americans (47 percent) report having a “very unfavorable” (32 percent) or “somewhat unfavorable” (15 percent) view of socialism.
Less than a quarter of Democrats (23 percent), however, reported having an unfavorable view of socialism. In the poll, only nine percent of Democrats reported having a “very unfavorable” view of socialism, while 14 percent had a “somewhat unfavorable” opinion.
In the poll, 28 percent of all Americans and 28 percent of Democrats were “not sure” of their opinion of socialism.
YouGov also asked respondents, “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of capitalism?” Approximately half of Americans (48 percent) reported having a “very favorable” (20 percent) or “somewhat favorable” (28 percent) view of capitalism.
Only seven percent of Democrats, on the other hand, responded they have a “very favorable” view of capitalism, while 30 percent reported having a “somewhat favorable” view of capitalism. In total, only 37 percent of Democrats had a favorable view of capitalism.
The poll found a little more than a quarter (28 percent) of Americans responded they have a “very unfavorable” (11 percent) or “somewhat unfavorable” (17 percent) opinion of capitalism.
Among Democrats, though, 41 percent reported having a “very unfavorable” (13 percent) or “somewhat unfavorable” (28 percent) view of capitalism.
The respondents were also asked about the impact of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) identifying himself as a “democratic socialist.” The poll found 10 percent of Americans were more likely to vote for Sanders because of his socialist identification, while 15 percent were less likely to vote for him. Another 39 percent had “no difference” of opinion and said they wouldn’t vote for him regardless; 12 percent said his socialist ideology made “no difference” because they would vote for him despite being a socialist, and 24 percent were “not sure.”
For Democrats, however, 20 percent were “more likely” to vote for Sanders because of his socialist beliefs. Only six percent said they were “less likely” to vote for Sanders because he’s a socialist, while 26 percent said they would not vote for him regardless, 22 percent would still support him regardless, and 26 percent were “not sure.”
In terms of ideological identification, the poll found double the amount of Democrats identify themselves as “socialist” (21 percent) compared to all Americans (nine percent).
Similarly, more than double the number of Americans (30 percent) viewed themselves as “capitalist” compared to Democrats (14 percent).
The poll showed 46 percent of Americans, including 47 percent of Democrats, view themselves as “neither” capitalist nor socialist. In the poll, 15 percent of Americans, and 17 percent of Democrats, were not sure of their ideological affiliation.