75% of likely voters say free-market capitalism is a better economic system than socialism.
“Despite the increased calls for socialism by many on the far left, the vast majority of likely voters believe that the United States should embrace a free-market economy. Only a sliver of likely voters think that the United States should abandon the free-market capitalistic policies that are responsible for making the United States the wealthiest nation in world history. Despite the countless calls for more socialism among elites in media and Hollywood, Americans aren’t interested in adopting the same socialist policies that have led to mass poverty wherever they have been tried.” ~ Chris Talgo, Editor and Research Fellow, The Heartland Institute
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (December 18, 2020) – A new poll by The Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports finds that a vast majority of likely voters prefer a free-market economic system over a socialist economic system.
When asked on December 6-7, “Which is better – a free-market economic system or socialism?,” 75% of respondents answered “free-market economic system,” while just 11% answered “socialism.”
Interestingly, most likely voters also have a decidedly negative view of one of America’s most prominent socialists, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). When asked, “Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?,” only 18% said “very favorable,” while 19% said “somewhat favorable.” On the other hand, 38% of likely voters said they have a “very unfavorable” impression of AOC, and 20% said they have a “somewhat unfavorable” impression of her. About 15% said they are not sure.
Taken together, these results show that a strong majority of likely voters believe the United States should reject socialism and instead adopt free-market economic principles.
Further, when asked, “Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of Joe Biden?,” 36% of likely voters said they have a “very unfavorable impression” of the president-elect. This was followed by 32% who said they have a “very favorable impression.” 19% said they have a “somewhat favorable impression” of Biden, while 11% responded that they have a “somewhat unfavorable impression” of the next president. Just 2% said they are “not sure.”
The poll has a margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
See the full results of the poll below, including some of the key data from the crosstabs.
National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters on Socialism
Conducted December 6-7, 2020
By The Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports
Which is better – a free-market economic system or socialism?
75% A free-market economic system
14% Not sure
INTERESTING NOTE: About one in five respondents aged 18-39 chose socialism, nearly the same as when we asked young people this same question in 2019. Support for a “free market” increased, though. In 2019, support among young voters was 59%. This year, it is 68%.
Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of Joe Biden?
32% Very favorable
19% Somewhat favorable
11% Somewhat unfavorable
36% Very unfavorable
2% Not sure
Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?
18% Very favorable
19% Somewhat favorable
20% Somewhat unfavorable
38% Very unfavorable
15% Not sure
About the Heartland Institute
The Heartland Institute is a 36-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our website or call 312/377-4000.