The differences between Democrats and Republicans in how they view these terms provide an important window into today’s political realities. Democrats have a more positive image of the federal government than they do of capitalism, by a 20-percentage-point margin, while Republicans are more positive about capitalism than the federal government, by a 45-point margin. This difference is not surprising — particularly given that a Democrat currently occupies the White House — but underscores the divergence in the ways in which Republicans and Democrats look at the appropriate role of the government in relationship to business.

Additionally, Democrats have roughly similar reactions to capitalism (55% positive) and socialism (53%), while Republicans are much more positive about the former than the latter, by 72% to 23%, respectively.