Seventy-one percent (71%) of voters nationwide agree that Socialism means more decisions are made by the government while Capitalism means more decisions are made by each individual. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that view is shared by 85% of Republicans, 68% of Independents, and 61% of Democrats (see crosstab results).
This data highlights one of the major disconnects between the growing popularity of the term socialism and the continued unpopularity of policies associated with the historic ideology of socialism. Most who have a positive view of Socialism today want less government involvement in the economy. Just 35% who like Socialism favor government ownership of the largest companies.
Additionally, only 18% of voters support Senator Bernie Sanders’ plan to ban private insurance companies and require everyone to use a federal health care system. Just 15% support a Universal Basic Income plan that provides payments even for those unwilling to work.
Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters consider Socialism a threat to America’s founding ideals of freedom, equality, and self-governance. That includes 15% who both like Socialism consider it a threat to those founding ideals. That small minority appears to like Socialism because it is a threat to America’s founding ideals. However, there is little support for that position among the population at large.
The survey also found that, in practical terms, 68% believe America’s commitment to individual freedom means a commitment to capitalism. An even larger number–83%–believe it means a commitment to free markets.
Very few voters see a conflict between Socialism and either Capitalism or Free Markets. That’s because only 12% of voters have a favorable opinion of Socialism as an economic system. Another 26% have a favorable opinion of the term but think it deals with other societal issues rather than economics. Sixty-one percent (61%) have an unfavorable view of Socialism in either case.
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This national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted May 21-22, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and a Demographic Profile of the Sample). Results from the full sample have +/-3.1 Margin of Sampling Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).