A new Gallup poll found that just 47 percent of Democrats and people who lean Democratic have a positive view of capitalism, the lowest percentage since Gallup started measuring the issue in 2010. Meanwhile, 57 percent of the same respondents felt positively about socialism. Among all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, opinion of capitalism is lowest among young adults (ages 18-29): 45 percent have a positive view of capitalism, versus 51 for socialism.
But the real story in Gallup’s data isn’t necessarily voters’ opinion of socialism. Among Democrats, attitudes toward socialism have remained relatively static; in 2016, during the heat of the Democratic presidential primary between a democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton, 58 percent of Democrats said they had a positive view of socialism—roughly even with the new poll. But positive views of capitalism among Democrats dropped precipitously over that period, by nearly ten points. Among young voters of all political persuasions, favorable opinions of capitalism have dropped 12 points since 2016.
The poll isn’t entirely good news for the country’s resurgent democratic socialists. Among Democratic voters, a decline in support for capitalism did not translate to increased support for socialism; and among young voters, positive views of socialism have fallen four points since 2016 . But it is clear that the party’s base is disillusioned with capitalism.