For the first time in Gallup’s measurement over the past decade, Democrats have a more positive image of socialism than they do of capitalism. Attitudes toward socialism among Democrats have not changed materially since 2010, with 57% today having a positive view. The major change among Democrats has been a less upbeat attitude toward capitalism, dropping to 47% positive this year – lower than in any of the three previous measures. Republicans remain much more positive about capitalism than about socialism, with little sustained change in their views of either since 2010.
Americans aged 18 to 29 are as positive about socialism (51%) as they are about capitalism (45%). This represents a 12-point decline in young adults’ positive views of capitalism in just the past two years and a marked shift since 2010, when 68% viewed it positively. Meanwhile, young people’s views of socialism have fluctuated somewhat from year to year, but the 51% with a positive view today is the same as in 2010.
Older Americans have been consistently more positive about capitalism than socialism. For those 50 and older, twice as many currently have a positive view of capitalism as of socialism.
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A majority of Americans have retained a positive view of capitalism over the past eight years, but this year’s 56% positive rating is by four points the lowest recorded since 2010. This modest drop in positive attitudes toward capitalism was driven, as reviewed above, by the less positive attitudes among Democrats.