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The self-labeled Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders may have had a rough night on Super Tuesday, but many Democratic voters nevertheless said in exit polls they have a favorable view of socialism.
Former Vice President Joe Biden won at least nine states, including Massachusetts and Texas, two states Sanders had targeted and hoped to claim.
Still, Democratic voters in CNN exit polls—from California, to Texas, to Maine—said they had a favorable view of socialism.
CNN’s exit polls included a question about socialism for voters in five states on Super Tuesday.
Maine Democratic voters, by a margin of 60-32 percent, said they have a “favorable” view of socialism. A majority of Democratic voters in California (52-34 percent) and Texas (56-37 percent) also said they have a favorable view of socialism. Even in the southern states of North Carolina (50-40 percent) and Tennessee (47-44 percent), a plurality of voters said they have a favorable view of socialism.
Tuesday’s exit polling is in line with other surveys.
In a 2018 Gallup survey, 57 percent of Democrats said they had a positive view of socialism while only 47 percent said they same about capitalism. (In the same survey, only 16 percent of Republicans had a positive view of socialism.)
And a Gallup survey conducted in January this year showed 76 percent of Democrats—but only 17 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Independents—would be open to voting for a socialist for president.
Two Democratic members of the House of Representatives are self-labeled Democratic socialists: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib.
Gallup’s Frank Newport in 2018 suggested that the “drop in Democrats' positive views of capitalism” could be “related to Donald Trump's presidency.”
“Trump is an enthusiastic capitalist,” Newport wrote, “and his administration's efforts to roll back regulations on business and industry, as well as the tax cut law that is advantageous to businesses and corporations, may have caused Democrats to view the entire capitalist enterprise with less positive eyes.”
Photo courtesy: © Getty Images/Hermosa Wave
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.