Gallup reported Monday morning that “Democrats have a more positive image of socialism than they do of capitalism” for the first time since the company began polling that question over the past decade.
The major shift, Gallup says, has been that Democrats have lost faith in capitalism — even as the economy has exceeded 4.1% growth and unemployment has hit all-time lows:
Attitudes toward socialism among Democrats have not changed materially since 2010, with 57% today having a positive view. The major change among Democrats has been a less upbeat attitude toward capitalism, dropping to 47% positive this year — lower than in any of the three previous measures. Republicans remain much more positive about capitalism [71%] than about socialism [16%], with little sustained change in their views of either since 2010.
The poll mentions Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has become a national figure since defeating incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in a primary race in New York while running as an unabashed “democratic socialist.”
Gallup notes that there has been “12-point decline in young adults’ positive views of capitalism in just the past two years and a marked shift since 2010, when 68% viewed it positively.” That result comes in spite of growing opportunity for young people in the growing economy.
It would appear that Democrats, and young people, may have a view on capitalism that is not driven by economic reality but by politics and aesthetics.
A Reason-Rupe poll in 2014 found that two-thirds of millennials distrusted government — but that a similar proportion also wanted government to provide more necessities like health care.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.