- The Washington Times - Friday, July 27, 2018

Democratic socialism has an appealing image these days, thanks in part to the spirited 2016 presidential campaign of Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, and the recent surprise victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated 20-year veteran Rep. Joe Crowley in a primary race in Queens, New York. Both Mr. Sanders and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez are self-described democratic socialists.

A new Rasmussen reports survey finds that 51 percent of likely Democratic voters have “a favorable impression of socialism.” Only 21 percent of Republican voters, 26 percent of independents and 33 percent of U.S. voters overall agree with this.

“Twenty-nine percent of Democrats incorrectly believe the individual has more power than the government in a socialist system, a view held by just 12 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of unaffiliated voters,” the survey said, also revealing that 80 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of unaffiliateds and 54 percent of Democrats say the government “has more power” in a socialist system.

Democratic flirtations with socialism does not translate into action, however. The poll found that only 19 percent of Democrats said their party should convert to a national socialist party. A quarter of independents agreed.

Perhaps sensing a political or cultural advantage in the long run, a plurality of GOP voters — 41 percent — said the Democrats should just go ahead and make the change.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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