The main problem with those polls and articles that claim that “millennials prefer socialism to capitalism” (or something to that effect) is that we rarely know how those terms are being defined. It’s likely a matter of the ol’ “do you think government should play a role in curbing capitalism” shit. Socialism is pretty much always understood as social democracy in these cases. We have no way of truly understanding how popular a democratic economy beyond capitalism would be – these liberal pollsters probably go in asking people if they prefer socialism, “like in Europe”. I’d like to hope that legit socialism would be vastly popular with people throughout society, from edge-teetering progressives to “small government” conservatives who are sincere in their supposed commitments to anti-authoritarianism, but we don’t have a great window into that because the press and media are parrots of neo-liberalism by and large.
Fifty-four percent of respondents to our online poll — which reached a sample of 1,884 registered voters nationally from Friday, January 29, through Sunday, January 31, 2016 — agreed that a “political revolution might be necessary to redistribute money from the wealthiest Americans to the middle class.” Just 30 percent said they disagreed.
Liberals and liberal-leaning demographics were most likely to agree with the statement. But majorities of independents, white voters, evangelicals, and even Tea Party supporters in our sample agreed too — showing that redistribution may no longer be a dirty word in American politics.
Of course, keep in mind that responses to a poll statement in a vacuum may differ quite a bit from how people will feel after hearing political debate and messaging from both sides.
And the poll contained one troubling result for Sanders. When people were asked whether big government or big business was a bigger threat to the country’s future, 55 percent named big government, compared with only 29 percent who named big business — suggesting the country hasn’t moved so far to the left after all, and that an agenda that will expand government remains a tough sell.
Still, Sanders is betting that his economics-focused electoral appeal can win over white voters who have tended to support the GOP. And this poll implies that they might like at least some of what he has to say.
For all the attention this band of unpleasant men with mommy issues attracts, you might assume they’re core to Sanders’ support among young progressives. But a new poll from Rock the Vote is turning that conventional wisdom on its head. Yes, there’s a big gender gap among young voters backing Bernie Sanders. But it’s not among men. Voting-age women under the age of 35 now favor Sanders by 20 percentage points over Clinton. You read that right: Young female voters support Bernie Sanders by an expansive margin.