A new survey reveals that Americans have soured on socialism following the 2020 presidential election.
The Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University released a report Wednesday concluding that “America’s thirst for socialism has plummeted.” The report is part of the 2020 Post-Election Survey of 1,000 adults nationwide conducted between Nov. 4 and 16, 2020. As part of the survey, voters were asked whether they preferred socialism or capitalism.
“Transitioning from socialism to capitalism would be a major, life-changing choice that will have dramatic consequences and far-reaching impacts on the health and well-being of our country and its people,” said George Barna, director of Research at the Cultural Research Center. “Yet, because they are inadequately educated on these matters, many people are easily swayed by superficial, tangential, or emotional arguments.”
“It is clear that today Americans are suffering from a deficit of insight into the details of governance and national economics,” he added. “It is in the best interests of the nation and its future to help people of all ages better understand the meaning and long-term implications of socialism before substantial systemic changes are made.”
According to the survey, support for socialism among all respondents dropped from 41% to 32% since the Cultural Research Center last asked Americans for their views about socialism in 2018. Standing at 12%, support for socialism was lowest among those identified as “integrated disciples” with a biblical worldview and Spiritually Active Governance Engaged Conservative Christians (SAGE Cons.). Seventeen percent of integrated disciples supported socialism in 2018, along with 18% of Sage Cons.
Among born-again Christians, described as “adults who believe they will go to Heaven after they die only because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior,” support for socialism stood at 32% in 2020 compared to 35% in 2018. Thirty percent of self-identified Christians preferred socialism to capitalism, a decrease from the 39% who said so in 2018.
Support for socialism also declined among spiritual skeptics, described as “people who say they do not know, do not believe or don’t care if God exists,” from 47% to 35%. All age groups saw a drop in support for socialism, including those younger than 30, where the preference for socialism or capitalism dropped from 48% to 43% from 2018 to 2020.
The support for socialism dropped significantly among Americans between the ages of 30 and 49. Just 34% of people in that age group supported socialism compared to 49% two years earlier.
Only two groups saw support for socialism increase in the past two years: Non-Christians and political liberals. In 2018, 38% of non-Christians said they preferred socialism to capitalism. That number rose to 44% in 2020.
Among political liberals, who have always been the group most supportive of socialism, support increased from 53% to 54%. Throughout three recent surveys by the Cultural Research Center asking Americans for their views of socialism, political liberals were the only group to express majority support for socialism.
Those who supported socialism indicated strong support for “reducing racial discrimination through legal means” (62%), universal healthcare (59%), restoring financial solvency to Medicare and Social Security (55%), redistributing wealth (52%), and implementing stricter environmental regulations (50%).
Additionally, those who sympathized with socialism had divergent religious views from their capitalist counterparts. Specifically, 61% of socialism supporters believed that the Bible was ambiguous on abortion compared to 46% of capitalism supporters who said the same.
While the Democrats, who are seen as more sympathetic to socialism, gained control of the federal government following the 2020 election, concerns about socialism did manifest themselves in the election results.
According to the report, “While Biden was ultimately declared the victor, the survey data show that it was not because of his determination to advance socialism as much as the fact that he was not Donald Trump.”
Republicans, who have worked to portray Democrats as proponents of socialism, ended up winning 11 seats in the House of Representatives, with one race still undecided, despite the fact that most predictions showed the party losing seats. Republicans performed very well in areas with high Latino populations, such as Doral, Florida, where former President Donald Trump won nearly 51% of the vote compared to 22% four years earlier.
According to the Daily Kos, Trump only won two congressional districts carried by Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, Florida’s 26th District and Texas’ 23rd District. Both districts have high Latino populations.
Tony Suarez, the CEO of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, attributed the surge in support for Trump and the Republicans among Latinos to fears of socialism, the economic system that caused many of them to flee their home countries in the first place. According to CNN exit polling, Trump’s Latino support nationwide increased from 28% in 2016 to 32% in 2020.