When the debate starts tonight, readers might be wondering, “How did an avowed socialist get the inside track on a major-party nomination?” They won’t be alone in asking the question. NPR and Marist conducted a poll to determine just how popular socialism might have become thirty-plus years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and just a relatively short time since the collapse of Venezuela under Chavista rule.
Has socialism gotten popular? Not among the general electorate, but it’s becoming mainstream for one particular segment of it. Three guesses…
Asked about their impression of socialism, 28% of adults said they have a favorable view, while 58% said they had an unfavorable one.
If socialism is so unpopular with Americans, how can Sanders be on the rise in the Democratic primary? Because Democrats and, more specifically, progressives view socialism favorably. Half of Democrats said so, while more than two-thirds of progressives did.
Just 23% of independents, though, and 7% of Republicans viewed socialism favorably.