Most Americans Wouldn’t Vote for a Socialist President

Most Americans Wouldn’t Vote for a Socialist President

Bernie Sanders
By Eric Pianin

Memo to Sen. Bernie Sanders:

Americans by overwhelming numbers say they would vote for a qualified presidential candidate nominated by their party who is Catholic, a woman, black, Hispanic or Jewish.

They say they would be somewhat less inclined to support a Mormon, a gay or lesbian, an evangelical Christian or Muslim for president, according to a new Gallup Poll released Monday. Yet more than half of those Americans surveyed said they would be accepting of anyone from this group who managed to garner their party’s presidential nomination. Even a qualified atheist would be acceptable to 58 percent of those questioned.

But only 47 percent said they could vote for a socialist for president. Fifty percent said they would absolutely not.

Related: Where Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley Stand on the Issues

Sanders, 73, an independent who is challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, is the only Jewish candidate in the race. And while many wrote him off early on as a fringe candidate with limited appeal, Sanders has subsequently generated considerable buzz among liberals and progressives, and has made respectable showings in some of the early polling, including in New Hampshire.

With his ringing anti-Wall Street populist message, Sanders is tapping into the Democratic Party’s progressive wing – including some who had hoped at one time that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might change her mind and enter the race.  However, the former University of Chicago student radical and self-described democratic socialist, supports proposals similar to those of mainstream social democratic governments in Europe, particularly those of Scandinavia.

Five of the declared candidates for president are Catholics – including Republicans Jeb Bush, George Pataki, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum, and Democrat Martin O'Malley. Two are women -- Clinton and Republican Carly Fiorina. Republican Ben Carson is the only black candidate in the race, while two candidates are Hispanic -- Republicans Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Here are Gallup’s findings: 

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