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2018 Midterms

Recent Public Opinion Polling Shows Democrats More Positive About Socialism

A majority of Democratic Party voters have a positive view about the left-wing ideology.

Duane Paul Murphy

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According to an August 13 public opinion poll from Gallup, a majority of self-identified Democrats nationwide have a positive view or image of socialism.

Results from the recent poll were based on telephone interviews conducted between July 30 and August 5 with a random sample of more than 1,500 U.S. adults 18 years old and older residing in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

According to the study, 47% of Democratic voters have a positive view of capitalism and 57% have a positive view of socialism.

In 2016, during the last presidential election where Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders ran a grassroots campaign against Hillary Clinton, 56% had a positive view of capitalism and 58% had a positive view of socialism. After President Barack Obama’s reelection in 2012, 53% of Democrats had a positive view of socialism and 55% of Democrats had a positive view of capitalism.

At the time of the right-wing Tea Party Republican wave in 2010 — and a year before the 2011 Occupy protests — 53% of Democrats had a positive view of both capitalism and socialism. It appears that recent political movements and elections in the last five or more years have molded the party of Roosevelt’s perspectives on the polarizing idea.

When broken down by age, 51% of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 have positive views of socialism while 45% have positive views about capitalism. For middle-aged people between the ages of 30 and 64, positive views of socialism were between less than 30 and 40%. For elderly people between the ages of 65 and older, less than 28% had a positive view of the leftist ideology.

These numbers start to reflect the generational divide between older Americans growing up during the Cold War of the early and mid 20th century, and younger and middle-aged Americans growing up during the later years of the global conflict in the 1980s as well as the post-Cold War era of the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s.

Socialism seems to be gradually gaining steam across the country, especially in the form of democratic socialism and social democracy.

Politicians such as Virginia state legislator Lee Carter and New York City congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who are members of the Democratic Socialists of America, are just a few examples of how the leftist ideology is gaining traction at an institutional level among future generations.

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Duane Paul Murphy is a D.C. college student and student journalist born and raised in Southern California. Currently studying for his bachelor’s in politics and a minor in media studies, Duane Paul is interested in covering domestic as well as international political affairs that impact the lives of everyday people, whether they are young students, professionals, or faculty in higher education.

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