- Category: News & Analysis
- Created on Friday, 18 March 2011 06:54
- Written by Rasmussen Reports
A recent Rasmussen poll finds that 11% of "Likely Voters" in the US prefer communism to capitalism. What is the significance of this for communists in the US? To what do we attribute this result and what are its implications for our work?
11% Say Communism Better Than U.S. System of Politics and Economics
Communism as an ideological force largely died with the collapse of the Soviet Union 20 years ago, but even with many of its horrors increasingly forgotten, U.S. voters overwhelmingly reject the ideology that contended for world dominance for much of the 20th Century.
Still, 11% of Likely U.S. Voters think communism is morally superior to the U.S. system of politics and economics, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. But 77% disagree and say the U.S. system is morally superior. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here).
Communism calls for the elimination of all private property with everything owned in common, and voters even more emphatically reject it as an economic theory. Eighty-seven percent (87%) say, in practical terms, free market economies work better than communist economies. Only four percent (4%) say communist economies work better.
Similarly, 80% of voters say the U.S. system of politics and economics is better for middle class workers than communism is. Ten percent (10%) say communism is a better option, and another 10% are undecided.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on March 12-13, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Seventy-three percent (73%) of voters view communism as a failed ideology. Twelve percent (12%) say that’s not true. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.
Voters ages 18 to 29 are much less critical of communism as an ideology than their elders are. Conservative voters believe more strongly than moderates and liberals that communism is a failed ideology, but majorities of all three groups share that view.
In terms of world history, 85% of all voters nationwide believe that the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe was at least somewhat important, with 71% who describe it as Very Important. Only eight percent (8%) say it was not very or not at all important.
While 87% of Mainstream voters rate the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe as important in terms of history, nearly one-in-three Political Class voters (32%) view it as unimportant historically. Generally speaking, however, there’s little difference of opinion between the two groups when it comes to comparing the U.S. economic and political system with communism.
In November 2009, on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, 93% of Likely U.S. Voters said the fall of the wall and the collapse of communism were at least somewhat important in terms of world history. That included 70% who said they were Very Important.
The majority of voters across all demographic categories are in general agreement on all of these questions, although there clearly are degrees of passion. Republicans and conservatives, as they have historically in this country, hold the strongest negative feelings about communism.
Socialism with its emphasis on a government-regulated economy is considered a transitional economic phase on the path to communism.
In an April 2009 survey, 21% of American adults said that the U.S. economy is partially socialist, and another five percent (5%) said, generally speaking, the United States already has a fully socialist economy. At the same time, indicative of the suspicions many had following the Wall Street meltdown and the government’s bailout response, only 53% of American adults thought capitalism is better than socialism.
Voters overwhelmingly prefer a free market economy to an economy managed by the government and think government economic control helps big businesses at the expense of small ones.