Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Democrats are less likely to know what socialism is compared to other voters but have a much more favorable opinion of it. They stop well short, however, of thinking the Democratic Party should become a national socialist party.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 28% of all Likely U.S. Voters think the national Democratic party should officially declare itself a socialist party. Fifty-three percent (53%) disagree, while 18% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
But Republicans (41%) are much more enthusiastic than Democrats (19%) and voters not affiliated with either major political party (25%) about Democrats coming out nationally as a socialist party.
Still, 51% of Democrats have a favorable impression of socialism, with 13% who share a Very Favorable one. This compares to favorables of 21% among GOP voters and 26% among unaffiliateds, with seven percent (7%) and five percent (5%) respectively who hold a Very Favorable opinion of it.
Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Democrats, however, incorrectly believe the individual has more power than the government in a socialist system, a view held by just 12% of Republicans and seventeen percent (17%) of unaffiliated voters. Eighty percent (80%) of Republicans correctly say the government has more power in a socialist system, and 54% of Democrats and 67% of unaffiliateds agree.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines socialism as “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”
Rasmussen Reports invites you to be a part of our first-ever Citizen-Sourced National Midterm Election Polling Project. Learn more about how you can contribute.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 23-24, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
In a recent New York primary, a Democratic Socialist candidate unseated a near-20-year congressional veteran, and she contends she represents the Democratic Party's future. But voters reject socialism in no uncertain terms.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of Democrats expressed a favorable opinion of socialism in late 2015 when an avowed socialist, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, was challenging Hillary Clinton for the party’s presidential nomination. That was up from 45% Democratic support in 2012.
Among all voters, 33% have a favorable opinion of socialism, but that includes only eight percent (8%) with a Very Favorable one. Fifty-eight percent (58%) view socialism unfavorably, with 37% who share a Very Unfavorable view.
Twenty percent (20%) think the individual has more power in a socialist system. Sixty-seven percent (67%) say the government has more power. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.
Those under 40 have a much more favorable opinion of socialism than their elders do and are the strongest supporters of Democrats becoming a national socialist party. But younger voters are also the most likely to believe the individual has more power under a socialist system.
Liberals like socialism a lot more than moderates and conservatives do and are much more likely to think it empowers the individual. But conservatives are the biggest fans of Democrats becoming a socialist party.
As recently as last September, 48% of all voters favored a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone.
Forty-three percent (43%) support Sanders’ plan to make Medicare available not just to elderly Americans but to all. Most voters already believe, though, that they won’t receive their full Medicare benefits under the current system when they retire.
Forty-six percent (46%) also support Sanders’ proposal to create a federal jobs program that would guarantee every American at least a $15-an-hour job with health benefits.
Generally speaking, however, most voters have long preferred a smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes over a bigger one with more services and more taxes.
Twenty percent (20%) of Democrats said last November that Sanders would make the best candidate against President Trump in 2020. But 73% of Democrats now think their party needs a “fresh face” to run against Trump.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.