Nearly Half Of Americans Would Vote For A Socialist For President

06/22/2015 02:38 pm ET | Updated Jun 22, 2015
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Not quite half of Americans -- 47 percent-- say they would consider voting for a socialist for president, if the person were well-qualified and nominated by the voter's party, according to a new Gallup survey.

Democrats offer the most support for socialism with 59 percent saying they would vote for a socialist candidate. Independents are split down the middle, and Republicans are the least supportive with just 26 percent saying they'd vote for a socialist.

Americans ages 18 to 29 are most open to the idea of a socialist with nearly 7 in 10 stating they'd vote for one. Older generations are less inclined to do so.

While nearly half of Americans would consider voting for a socialist, the other half say they would not. Fewer Americans support a socialist for president than support other types of presidential candidates surveyors asked about, including those of different religions, races and genders. Ninety-three percent of Americans would consider voting for a Catholic, 92 percent for a Jew, 81 percent for a Mormon and 73 percent for an Evangelical. Candidates who identify as Muslim or atheist are less favored, garnering the support of 60 percent and 58 percent of Americans, respectively.

Some 92 percent of Americans say they'd vote for a woman. The same percentage would support a black candidate, and 91 percent say they'd support a Hispanic candidate. Seventy-four percent would vote for a gay or lesbian for president.

A Gallup study from April shows Americans have shifted their support toward socialist-type policies, with 52 percent of Americans now saying the government should redistribute wealth by placing higher taxes on the rich -- the greatest support for wealth redistribution that has been measured since 1940.

Of all the candidates who have entered the 2016 presidential race thus far, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is running for the Democratic nomination, is the only socialist -- more specifically, a self-described democratic socialist.

Gallup surveyed 1,527 adults using live interviews via landline and cell phone on June 2-7.

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