Thirty-nine percent (39%) of voters have at least a Somewhat Favorable opinion of Socialism. However, a ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that more than two-thirds of them do not consider that term to reflect an economic ideology (see crosstab results).
As a result, only 12% of all American 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 (see crosstab results).
This data helps explain the enormous gap between the apparent support for Socialism and the lack of support for socialist policies. For example, 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.
These latest results are consistent with earlier data showing that those who like Socialism today do not think of the term as it has been understood historically.
Some of the data appears stunning to those who think of Socialism as it was understood in the 20th century. For example, among those who like Socialism, just 38% think it leads to higher taxes and more government control. Nearly as many, 29%, believe it would lead to lower taxes and less government control.
The new survey found that 69% of those who like Socialism also have a favorable opinion of capitalism. An even larger number–87%–have a favorable opinion of Free Markets.
Eighty-four percent (84%) of voters continue to see the United States as a Land of Opportunity.
Overall, just 28% of voters believe that Socialism is primarily an economic ideology.
Extensive research by ScottRasmussen.com has clearly documented the fact that most 21st century fans of Socialism don’t think the term means what it has meant historically. However, it is not yet clear what they do believe it means. That will be the subject of ongoing research.
We also provide daily updates on the president’s job approval and the generic congressional ballot. It’s all part of our mission to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us).
The national survey of 1,002 Registered Voters was conducted May 7-8, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).