Over 40% of Americans now support some form of socialism

A new Gallup polls shows the rising support for socialism in the United States.

  • Socialism is experiencing a boom in support among Americans.
  • 43% of Americans now view socialism as "a good thing".
  • There are also more people (51%) against socialism as political stances hardened.

Are Americans more accepting of socialism? Once a political slur, socialism has come back into the public consciousness, bolstered by the appeal of popular politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who speak openly of their support for Democratic Socialism. An April 2019 poll from Gallup provided more evidence of socialism's growing base, showing that 43% of Americans now describe socialism as a "good thing".

The answer came in response to "Would some form of socialism be a good thing or a bad thing for the country as a whole?"

Compare the current support of over 40% of the population for some form of socialism to 25% who supported it in a 1942 Roper/Fortune survey – one of the oldest opinion measures we have on subject.

The amount of people who don't like socialism has also grown. 51% of the polled thought socialism was a "bad thing" while only 40% thought so in 1942. The big difference also is that in the 1940's poll 34% had "no opinion" while in 2019, only 6% replied that way. Clearly, fewer are on the fence about how they feel and stances have hardened.

Why has the opinion of socialism changed through the years? For one, the Red Scare of the 40s and 50s is no longer there. Instead, Scandinavian countries are often brought up as examples of modern socialist societies.

Previous opinion polls also showed that more Americans (23%) now identify socialism with social equality rather than with government control over the means of production (17%). For comparison, in 1949, 34% of the polled defined socialism to mean government having control over business.

Additionally, the group polled currently by Gallup had a larger percentage of people who thought there will be more socialist countries in the next 50 years – 29% in contrast to 14% in a 1949 survey.

On the flip side of this trend is the fact that more Americans seem to prefer that government stay out of healthcare and education – two big constituents of most socialist agendas. Only 41% would like to see more government involvement in higher education and 44% would want more fed control in healthcare.

On the whole, people also generally feel that the government already has more control than the free market over the U.S. economy, with 25% thinking that versus 18% who thought the free market was in command.

Capitalism Is in Trouble. Socialist Principles Can Save It.

Stand up against religious discrimination – even if it’s not your religion

As religious diversity increases in the United States, we must learn to channel religious identity into interfaith cooperation.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Religious diversity is the norm in American life, and that diversity is only increasing, says Eboo Patel.
  • Using the most painful moment of his life as a lesson, Eboo Patel explains why it's crucial to be positive and proactive about engaging religious identity towards interfaith cooperation.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less

NASA's idea for making food from thin air just became a reality — it could feed billions

Here's why you might eat greenhouse gases in the future.

Jordane Mathieu on Unsplash
Technology & Innovation
  • The company's protein powder, "Solein," is similar in form and taste to wheat flour.
  • Based on a concept developed by NASA, the product has wide potential as a carbon-neutral source of protein.
  • The man-made "meat" industry just got even more interesting.
Keep reading Show less

Where the evidence of fake news is really hiding

When it comes to sniffing out whether a source is credible or not, even journalists can sometimes take the wrong approach.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • We all think that we're competent consumers of news media, but the research shows that even journalists struggle with identifying fact from fiction.
  • When judging whether a piece of media is true or not, most of us focus too much on the source itself. Knowledge has a context, and it's important to look at that context when trying to validate a source.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less