But for many younger progressives, the negative reactions to Sanders’ comments — ​which were also aired and debated in his 2016 presidential campaign — seem like boomer panic and a pernicious form of red-baiting, and reveal the divides within the Democratic Party.

“Socialism is a supposedly scary term that we’ve talked about so much, but we really don’t understand,” said Nolan Lok, 18, a chemistry major at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he cast a ballot early Wednesday, before its primary next week.

“In a society where technology is so important, where it takes fewer people to produce more things, we’re going to have to have a more socialistic society, where the government needs to step in more,” he said. “The government is going to be required to do more, and it’s something we should welcome, not be afraid of.”