Little Change in Public's Response to 'Capitalism,' 'Socialism'

Little Change in Public's Response to 'Capitalism,' 'Socialism'

Although more Americans say they support the Occupy Wall Street protests than oppose them (44 percent vs. 35 percent), reactions to the term capitalism have changed little since early 2010, a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds. According to Little Change in Public's Response to 'Capitalism,' 'Socialism' (8 pages, PDF), 50 percent of those surveyed said they had a positive reaction to the term capitalism while 40 percent had a negative reaction, compared with 31 percent and 60 percent, respectively, to the term socialism — findings largely unchanged from a 2010 survey. The survey also found that self-identified "liberal" Democrats and Occupy Wall Street supporters were as likely to react positively to the term capitalism as they were to react negatively, as did some conservative Republicans and Tea Party supporters, whereas almost all conservatives reacted negatively to the term socialism (and liberals generally reacted positively). Funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the survey also found that the term libertarian continues to receive mixed reactions, with some of the most positive reactions to the term coming from both the right and left of the political spectrum.