If Vermont senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders were actually to win the 2016 general election, he would be 74 at the time of his inauguration, making him the oldest president in U.S. history. (Ronald Reagan was 73 at the time of his second inauguration.)
Though Sanders’s age might be a deterrent to some Democratic voters, his self-identification as a socialist would be less of one, according to a new YouGov poll.
The poll probes Americans’ view of socialism in isolation and contrasted with capitalism. As the graph below indicates, 43% of Democrats have equally favorable views socialism and capitalism.
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Somewhat surprisingly, 9% of Republicans also have a favorable view of socialism.
When it comes to age, the data are less surprising, with millennials exhibiting nearly as much enthusiasm for socialism (36%) as for capitalism (39%). As respondents’ age rises, their predilection toward socialism and capitalism decline and increase respectively, seeming to lend credence to the old adage that with age comes wisdom.
In general, the findings seem to reflect a growing polarization between liberals and conservatives that is more a reflection of liberals gravitating further left than conservatives further right. The popularity of Elizabeth Warren and the fact that Hillary Clinton has tacked increasingly — if cynically — left in her policy prescriptions bear this out.
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