Is Ocasio-Cortez a Harbinger? Poll Shows Democrats View Capitalism More Negatively Than Ever Before

Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

In 2016, throngs of Leftists placed their support behind Socialist Bernie Sanders. Though he was unsuccessful in obtaining the party nomination, his popularity said something about the lean toward a more extreme variety of Democrat.


Now, candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is following in Sanders’ footsteps in her hopes to obtain a seat in the United States Congress.

Ocasio-Cortez is young, vibrant, and has a degree in both economics and international relations, yet remains unable to describe her exact plans for a “brighter” American future. She is a self-described Democratic Socialist, but can’t explain how she plans to pay for all that free housing, education, and healthcare. (Hint: it’s coming out of your pocket.)

Nevermind all the specifics. Democrats are eating it up!

A new Gallup poll released this week shows that the gap between preferred economic systems is widening, and capitalism is getting tossed aside.

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.

Socialist Bernie Sanders competitively challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, and more recently, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a candidate with similar policy views and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, won the Democratic nomination in New York’s 14th Congressional District.


It remains to be seen just how seriously Democrats accept socialism given that a handful of candidates who favor that system lost their bids in recent primaries.

A majority of Democrats have viewed socialism positively each time Gallup has measured the concept since 2010, and — despite the increased visibility given to the concept this year — those views have not changed substantively. But the drop in Democrats’ positive views of capitalism this year has for the first time left Democrats more positive about socialism as a concept than about capitalism.

Part of the reason for the shift could certainly be a reaction to the president.

Trump is an enthusiastic capitalist, and his administration’s efforts to roll back regulations on business and industry, as well as the tax cut law that is advantageous to businesses and corporations, may have caused Democrats to view the entire capitalist enterprise with less positive eyes.

As noted in the poll results, respondents were not given the definitions of either socialism or capitalism. Instead, they were simply asked how they felt about each. But this doesn’t make the trend any less worrisome.


If socialism is not the future of the Democratic Party, then they need to do more to assure us of that.

Kimberly Ross is a senior contributor at RedState and a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


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