A new Gallup poll finds that Democrats now view socialism more positively than capitalism.
“For the first time in Gallup’s measurement over the past decade,” Gallup’s Frank Newport notes, Democrats have shown “a less upbeat attitude toward capitalism.”
Although support for socialism has hovered between 53 to 57 percent since 2010, supportive views toward capitalism fell “lower than in any of the three previous measures” down to 47 percent.
“A majority of Democrats have viewed socialism positively each time Gallup has measured the concept since 2010, and — despite the increased visibility given to the concept this year — those views have not changed substantively,” Newport says. “But the drop in Democrats’ positive views of capitalism this year has for the first time left Democrats more positive about socialism as a concept than about capitalism.”
Gallup says it began the poll in late July “because many observers have claimed the Democratic Party is turning in more of a socialist direction.”
Socialists including Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and newly-elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have brought the issue further to the forefront in recent years.
The poll also found that younger Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have begun viewing capitalism less positively than in previous years.
“Americans aged 18 to 29 are as positive about socialism (51%) as they are about capitalism (45%),” Newport says. “This represents a 12-point decline in young adults’ positive views of capitalism in just the past two years and a marked shift since 2010, when 68% viewed it positively.”
Older Americans, however, continue to see capitalism as a much more positive economic force than socialism.
“For those 50 and older, twice as many currently have a positive view of capitalism as of socialism,” Newport adds.
Despite the fluctuating views among Democrats, Gallup notes that overall Americans continue to support capitalism, small business and entrepreneurs.
“Little has changed in Americans’ attitudes toward the concept at the national level,” Newport says. “Americans’ positive views of socialism have varied only between 35% and 39%, with this year’s reading of 37% right at the trend average.”
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