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Gallup Poll: Nearly 50 percent of Americans would vote for a socialist presidential candidate


Poll indicates 58 percent would vote for an atheist and 60 percent would vote for a Muslim

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Nearly half of Americans said they would vote for a socialist presidential candidate, according to a new Gallup Poll.

The survey showed that 47 percent of adults would vote for a socialist candidate and that 43 percent of Americans believe that socialism in some form would be good for the country.

Results from the poll published on Monday also found that the majority of Democrats have a positive view of socialism, but that's not a major shift over the past eight years that Gallup has tracked the metric. Only 47 percent of Democrats have a positive view of capitalism.

Gallup conducted a random telephone survey April 17-30 of 1,024 adults from all 50 states including the District of Columbia. The survey's margin of error is 4 percent.

Still, 51 percent of Americans said socialism would be a bad thing for the country.

But the survey's results showed a remarkable historical shift from decades past.

In 1942, a Roper/Fortune survey found that 40 percent of adults viewed socialism as a bad thing, 25 percent as a good thing and 34 percent not having an opinion.

Gallup noted that the definition of socialism has changed over time.

"[N]early one in four now associating the concept with social equality and 17% associating it with the more classical definition of having some degree of government control over the means of production," Gallup wrote.

What were some of the other results?

The percentages of Americans who would vote for a presidential candidate not affiliated with a Christian religion were also high.

Fifty-eight percent said they would vote for an atheist and 60 percent said they would vote for a Muslim.

What else?

Americans still prefer a free market for health care, higher education, the economy, distribution of wealth, wages, and technology innovation.

More than half favor governmental control over consumers' online privacy and increased governmental environmental protection.

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