Four in 10 Americans prefer socialism to capitalism, poll finds
Forty percent of Americans would rather live in a socialist country than a capitalist one, with a majority of younger women having this preference, according to a new poll.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the Puerto Rican Day parade in New York on Sunday. Ocasio-Cortez is an avowed democratic socialist.
Jose Alvarado Jr/Reuters
That four in 10 respondents supported socialism suggests the US might be shaking off decades of stigma – in keeping with the rising prominence of avowedly democratic socialist politicians, such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez .
According to the survey from Axios on HBO, respondents had varying views on what comprised a socialist political system. Seventy-six percent of respondents agreed that universal healthcare was a hallmark of socialism. Seventy-two percent agreed that tuition-free education was also a characteristic of socialism, and 68% thought a living wage was part of a socialist system.
Large numbers of respondents also agreed that socialism was linked to several unfavorable political characteristics. Fifty-seven percent agreed that “state-controlled media and communication” were among the things constituting socialism, and 49% agreed it was a “system dependent on dictatorship”.
However, the poll showed a gender divide when it comes to US attitudes to socialism.
Although 55% of women in the 18-54 age group said they would prefer living in a socialist country, “a majority of men prefer to live in a capitalist country”, Axios noted.
“It’s been a truth of American politics for decades that women are to the left of men, and I think that’s playing out in this poll,” said Felix Salmon of Axios.
Donald Trump has frequently railed against socialism as he gears up to bid for a second term. In April he told a rally in Wisconsin that America “will never be a socialist country”.