In a country where “socialist” is often used as a pejorative — and misused in too many ways to list here — it’s news that 47 percent of Gallup poll respondents say they’d vote for a socialist candidate for president. Though the political designation placed last on a hypothetical list of candidates that included women, gays and lesbians, Muslims and atheists, the survey response still seems to offer hopeful news to democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, who’s running as a Democrat.
The Gallup poll found a huge split in opinion between Republicans and Democrats on the issue. While 59 percent of Democrats said they’d be willing to cast their vote for a socialist presidential candidate, just 26 percent of Republicans did. (Nearly half of Independents, 49 percent, said they would be in favor of the idea.)
Overall, 93 percent of those polled said they would vote for a candidate who is Catholic, 92 percent a woman or an African American, 91 percent a Hispanic or Jewish candidate (which Sanders is). Just under 75 percent said they’d vote for a candidate who is LGBT, 60 percent for a Muslim and 58 percent for an atheist. Aside from the implications for Sanders, the numbers may offer some insight into how voters respond to the current crop for 2016, though it’s fairly soon to bank on any polls at this point. Gallup notes:
Five declared candidates are Catholics – Republicans Jeb Bush, George Pataki, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum, and Democrat Martin O’Malley. Two are women – Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and Republican Carly Fiorina. Republican Ben Carson is the sole black candidate in the race, while two candidates are Hispanic – Republicans Rubio and Ted Cruz.
To see the numbers further broken down, check out the charts below. You can also visit the poll on Gallup site .