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Four in 10 Americans Believe Socialism a ‘Good Thing’: Gallup

Photo from a Bernie Sanders for President campaign event, 2015 | Phil Roeder

Eoin Higgins, Common Dreams

Four in 10 Americans think socialism is a good thing for the United States, a shift in attitude that reflects the modern 21st century political landscape and changing social mores. 

Results from a Gallup poll released Monday show that 43 percent of U.S. adults polled from April 17-30 think socialism is a “good thing.” It’s likely not a coincidence that rise in popularity across all Americans came as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), both of whom identify as democratic socialists, became two of the most prominent  politicians in the U.S. 

The 43 percent number is a jump in approval of socialism by 18 percent since a poll by Roper 1942, the historical date used by Gallupfor reference to show the country’s evolving views. 

Gallup explained why they chose the 1942 date:

The Roper/Fortune survey is one of the oldest trend questions measuring attitudes on socialism in the U.S. Gallup’s update of the question in an April 17-30 survey finds Americans more likely to have an opinion on the matter now, as well as a smaller gap in the percentage calling socialism a bad thing vs. a good thing.

The April poll also found that the number of Americans that believe socialism is a bad thing for the country increased, from 40 percent in 1942 to 51 percent today. 

The survey also found that 47 percent of Americans would vote for a socialist candidate for president—a significant statistic that was one example of a few that show the changing social norms in the U.S.:

The April survey found that 47 percent 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 percent) or Muslim (60 percent) presidential candidate.

Polling from Gallup in the last decade has consistently found that a majority of Democrats have a positive view of socialism. That view has been paired with declining popularity of capitalism from the party faithful over the last few years. 


This article originally appeared on Common Dreams. It is shared under a creative commons license.


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Outsider in the White House

By Bernie Sanders

The political autobiography of the insurgent presidential candidate

Bernie Sanders’s campaign for the presidency of the United States has galvanized people all over the country, putting economic, racial, and social justice into the spotlight, and raising hopes that Americans can take their country back from the billionaires and change the course of history.

In this book, Sanders tells the story of a passionate and principled political life. He describes how, after cutting his teeth in the Civil Rights movement, he helped build a grassroots political movement in Vermont, making it possible for him to become the first independent elected to the US House of Representatives in forty years. The story continues into the US Senate and through the dramatic launch of his presidential campaign.


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