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.

SpaceX catches Falcon Heavy nosecone with net-outfitted boat

It marks another milestone in SpaceX's long-standing effort to make spaceflight cheaper.

Technology & Innovation
  • SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy into space early Tuesday morning.
  • A part of its nosecone – known as a fairing – descended back to Earth using special parachutes.
  • A net-outfitted boat in the Atlantic Ocean successfully caught the reusable fairing, likely saving the company millions of dollars.
Keep reading Show less

Are these 100 people killing the planet?

Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Image: Jordan Engel, reused via Decolonial Media License 0.1
Strange Maps
  • Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
  • This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
  • The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
Keep reading Show less

‘Climate apartheid’: Report says the rich could buy out of climate change disaster

The world's richest people could breeze through a climate disaster – for a price.

(Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new report from a United Nation expert warns that an over-reliance on the private sector to mitigate climate change could cause a "climate apartheid."
  • The report criticizes several countries, including the U.S., for taking "short-sighted steps in the wrong direction."
  • The world's poorest populations are most vulnerable to climate change even though they generally contribute the least to global emissions.
Keep reading Show less