A newly released Gallup poll found that a whopping 43% of Americans say socialism would be a good thing for the country.
The poll also found that Americans are split on viewing economy as free market or government controlled.
“Americans today are more closely divided than they were earlier in the last century when asked whether some form of socialism would be a good or bad thing for the country. While 51% of U.S. adults say socialism would be a bad thing for the country, 43% believe it would be a good thing. Those results contrast with a 1942 Roper/Fortune survey that found 40% describing socialism as a bad thing, 25% a good thing and 34% not having an opinion,” Gallup reports.
The researchers found that Americans’ definition of socialism has also changed over the years, with a quarter of respondents associating the concept with social equality and only 17% associating it with the proper definition of having government control of the means of production.
The findings were, of course, split across partisan lines. They found that the majority of Democrats have a positive view of socialism — 57% in 2018.
When asked whether they would prefer mostly free market or government control over several economic and societal activities, the pollsters found that “Americans are most likely to prefer free market control in the areas of technological innovation and the distribution of wealth. Majorities also want the free market to drive the economy overall, wages, higher education and healthcare.”
“Preference for the government to serve as the primarily responsible actor only garners majority support for protecting online consumer privacy and the environment,” they found.
As far as healthcare and higher education, Americans favor free market over government control. Approximately four in ten people support the Democrats proposals to greatly expand government control over these sectors.
“These data alone make it hard to generalize a simplistic conclusion about Americans’ opinions of, and willingness to entertain, socialism. But there are a few clear takeaways. About four in 10 Americans are accepting of some form of socialism or socialist policies, and Democrats currently have a more positive view of socialism than capitalism. In addition, the April survey found that 47% of Americans say they would vote for a socialist candidate for president. While that figure represents nearly half of the U.S. adult population, even higher percentages say they would vote for an atheist (58%) or Muslim (60%) presidential candidate,” Gallup concluded.