Heartland Poll Shows Voters Decisively Reject Socialism and Socialist Candidates

According to a new poll from the conservative think tank the Heartland Institute, 7 out of 10 voters reject socialism in favor of a free market system while only a quarter of responders said they'd vote for a candidate who identifies as socialist.

The national survey also discovered strong support for the Second Amendment but a split on ownership of "assault-style" rifles.

Washington Times:

When asked which is better, “a free-market economic system or socialism,” 69% chose a free market system, 12% chose socialism and 18% were not sure either way. The survey revealed that 87% of Republicans preferred the free market, along with 69% of independents and 53% of Democrats.

Though the media has promoted the idea that the popularity of socialism is on the rise, the survey reveals otherwise. Only 26% of voters said they’d vote for a presidential candidate who identifies as a socialist while 50% said they would not. The rest were undecided.

There is a bump in popularity for socialist candidates in one demographic: Among voters between the ages of 18 and 39, 42% said they would opt for a socialist president.

The poll also had news for two Democratic presidential hopefuls who have publicly supported socialist ideas: Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernard Sanders of Vermont had unfavorable ratings of 49% and 48%, respectively.

When it comes to the Second Amendment, the poll found a solid 2/3 majority opposing repeal. But 49 percent support a ban on “assault-style” rifles.

Some of the breakdown of the vote is interesting.

  • 31% of Democrats and 50% of independents said they would not “vote for a presidential candidate who identifies himself or herself as a socialist.”
  • 36% of respondents who said they work for the government said they would “vote for a presidential candidate who identifies himself or herself as a socialist,” the highest of any employment demographic we tested.
  • 20% of respondents with a “very favorable” impression of Bernie Sanders said they would not “vote for a presidential candidate who identifies himself or herself as a socialist.” 17% of respondents with a “very favorable” impression of Sanders said they were “not sure” if they would “vote for a presidential candidate who identifies himself or herself as a socialist.”
  • 19% of respondents with a “very favorable” impression of Elizabeth Warren said they would not “vote for a presidential candidate who identifies himself or herself as a socialist.” 19% of respondents with a “very favorable” impression of Warren said they were “not sure” if they would “vote for a presidential candidate who identifies himself or herself as a socialist.”

It would seem Trump's job is a fairly easy one if either Warren or Sanders gets the Democratic nomination. Tar them with the "socialist" label and enjoy the landslide. And given the sorts of programs that both candidates support, that won't be hard to do.