The numbers in this Gallup poll, at least as far as socialism goes, are fairly consistent with earlier surveys. It’s not just Republican opposition either. A majority of Americans really will not vote for a socialist. Or at least they say that they won’t.
Obviously, since the FDR days, they have. But Democrats have sworn up and down that they’re not socialists even while implementing socialism, only to now face the prospect of a candidate who is a declared socialist running a the top of their ticket.
Just one group tested — socialists — receives majority opposition. Less than half of Americans, 45%, say they would vote for a socialist for president, while 53% say they would not.
While 76% of Democrats would vote for a socialist, only 17% of Republicans would, and only 45% of independents would.
This is an obvious problem.
It’s why Dems are panicking over the rise of Bernie Sanders. And it’s why Sanders keeps trying to spin his socialism as the “good” European kind, calling Trump a socialist for billionaires, and arguing that most Americans support socialism, they just don’t know it.
He’s partly right about that last one. But that’s also because most Americans don’t understand the flip side of free stuff.
That’s what happened with his Medicare-for-All scam. It sounds great until you realize you lose your existing health insurance and have to live on Bernie’s version of Medicaid.
Bernie’s national numbers obviously don’t reflect this majority opposition to voting for a socialist.
How do you explain that?
1. A whole lot of people still don’t know that Bernie is a socialist. Not surprising there. Low info voters get their information from the news. And they don’t dwell on it in any level of detail.
2. People oppose a socialist in principle, but not always in practice. If you asked people in 2005 whether they would be willing to vote for a Chicago community organizer who attends a racist church and has an Islamic background, what would his numbers have looked like? The same crowd is betting that they can sell Bernie, as a lovable grandpa who hates corporations, and yes, happens to be a socialist. People oppose socialism in the abstract. It doesn’t mean that they will oppose a real world socialist candidate.
3. Shifts can happen quickly. Think about the status of gay marriage in 2010. America has changed dramatically in 20 years.
Polls like these are comforting. But don’t treat them as destiny.
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