Poll: U.S. Voters ‘Strongly Prefer’ Capitalism to Socialism

Voters wait for the polls to open on Election Day, at Sunrise Presbyterian Church Tuesday,
Mic Smith/AP

U.S. voters “strongly prefer” capitalism to socialism, a sentiment which has increased since April of 2021, a poll from Rasmussen Reports found.

Only 17 percent of 900 likely U.S. voters polled between February 5-7 prefer socialism to capitalism. Sixty-seven percent prefer capitalism, up from 65 percent in 2021, according to the survey, which has a ±3 percentage point margin of sampling error and a 95 percent level of confidence.  

The results come after the House of Representatives passed a Republican-led resolution condemning “the horrors of socialism.” Cuban-American Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) introduced the anti-Socialism resolution, a symbolic move that declares the country “founded on the belief in the sanctity of the individual, to which the collectivistic system of socialism in all of its forms is fundamentally and necessarily opposed.”

The text of the resolution notes that “many of the greatest crimes in history” were committed by socialist ideologues such as Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Hugo Chavez.

“Whereas socialist ideology necessitates a concentration of power that has time and time again collapsed into Communist regimes, totalitarian rule, and brutal dictatorships,” the resolution states.

The resolution ultimately passed in a bipartisan fashion, with 328 voting in favor and 86 voting against it. House Republicans unanimously supported the bill, along with 126 House Democrats.

The poll further found that 53 percent of voters would not vote for a candidate who supports socialism. Twenty-eight percent of poll respondents said they would vote for a candidate who supports socialism, and 19 percent are unsure.

Broken down by political affiliation, Republicans are more likely to support capitalism and oppose socialism.

“Eighty-one percent (81 percent) of Republicans believe capitalism is a better system than socialism, a view shared by 58 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of voters not affiliated with either major party,” the poll report states. “More than a quarter of Democrats (26 percent) like socialism better, compared to 11 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of unaffiliated voters.”

Democrats (47 percent) are much more likely than Republicans and unaffiliated voters to vote for a candidate who says they support socialism. Seventy-four percent of Republican voters, and 51 percent of unaffiliated voters would not vote for a candidate that supports socialism. 

Many voters do believe America is “drifting toward socialism,” the poll report states.

“Twenty-eight percent (28 percent) say the U.S. economy today is at least partly socialist, including eight percent (8 percent) who say the U.S. economy is generally socialist. That’s slightly down from April 2021, when 30 percent believed the U.S. economy was at least partly socialist,” the survey found. 

The drift toward socialism could be in part due to younger voters’ decreasing preference for capitalism. The poll found that only 45 percent of voters under 40 say capitalism is better than socialism, while strong majorities of every other age group support capitalism. More than a third (34 percent) of voters under 40 think socialism is better, compared to 11 percent of voters ages 40-64 and 7 percent of voters 65 and above.


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