AP NEWS

Inside the Beltway: Gallup: Majority unwilling to vote ‘socialist’

May 12, 2019

Socialism does not have much allure for voters, according to a major pollster, which might be news of interest for Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent and self-described democratic socialist.

“Less than half of Americans (47%) say they would vote for a qualified presidential candidate who is a socialist,” says a new Gallup poll.

“Socialist” was the only political persuasion that did not reach majority approval.

The pollster included hypothetical beliefs over whether someone would vote for a candidate if the person were black (96% approval), Hispanic (95%), female (94%), evangelical Christian (80%), gay or lesbian (76%), age under 40 (71%), Muslim (66%), age over 70 (63%), and atheist (60%).

“In spite of the expanded tolerance for diversity, candidates labeling themselves as socialists may struggle to gain traction in a presidential race, as Americans have not become more open to such a candidate. Even as political figures advocating socialist ideas have gained popularity in Democratic circles in recent years, less than half of Americans remain willing to give an avowed socialist candidate their vote. This creates a challenge for the Democratic Party, as it seeks to avoid alienating the Democratic socialists within its rank and file, while still aiming to win a national election,” writes Gallup analyst Justin McCarthy.

Will this sentiment extend into House and Senate races? We’ll see. Meanwhile, there is still a social appeal to socialism, however. A New York Magazine essay in February noted it has a particular appeal to the Brooklyn hipster crowd.

“Calling yourself a socialist sounds sexier than anything else out there, without necessarily advocating anything too risky,” the publication advised at the time also noting the socialists now have their own dating service.

PONDERING MAYOR PETE

“Why not me?” ask big city mayors who have witnessed Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, take command of the media and become a favorite on the presidential hopeful’s circuit.

“No mayor has ever ascended directly to the White House. So, Pete Buttigieg’s surprising performance in the Democratic primary has been met with a dose of excitement in the nation’s city halls along with some humility. Buttigieg, the mayor of Indiana’s fourth-largest city, has been steeped in television coverage, raised millions of dollars and been photographed with his husband, Chasten, for the cover of Time magazine,” writes Politico analyst David Siders.

“Meanwhile, New York City’s Bill de Blasio, the mayor of the nation’s largest city, is having difficulty persuading anyone the media, his own constituents to take his own potential run for president seriously,” he says.

“Everybody’s going to laugh at him” if he runs, Democratic strategist Doug Herman told the news organization. “The irony is that the South Bend mayor is being taken seriously, and the New York mayor is not.”

The secret?

“Buttigieg’s relative anonymity offered his supporters the excitement of discovering something new,” Mr. Siders of Politico suggests.

SHANAHAN AND MCALLEENAN

Programming of note: Fox News Channel’s “Fox Friends” will present an exclusive two-part interview with acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan and acting Department of Homeland Security Chief Kevin K. McAleenan, both to address their expectations, and the current situation at the southern border.

The two-part interview will air Monday and Tuesday, between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. EDT.

LIBERTARIANS TOUT A CAMPAIGN THEME

The national Libertarian Party is revving up their 2020 campaign message.

“Make freedom your single issue,” libertarians advise potential voters.

“Trust in government is at a breathtakingly low level, and there’s a good reason for that,” said Libertarian National Committee Chairman Nicholas Sarwark, who has a laundry list of government sins, ranging from waste and high spending to failing public schools.

“It’s easy for anybody to be tempted by the power of government, so doing the right thing in office requires a commitment to the principles of liberty. That’s why it’s so important to vote for Libertarian Party candidates,” he says. “We’re the only political party that takes freedom seriously. Individual rights are the foundation of every plank of our platform. If we want to see a government that truly secures our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we can’t get there with the same business as usual from Republicans and Democrats.”

ONE FOR BRIAN

Talkers Magazine, an industry publication covering talk radio, has given their Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of speech to Brian Kilmeade, host of his own daily talk-radio show on Fox News Radio, as well as a co-host for “Fox and Friends” on the TV-news network.

“Brian Kilmeade is a hard working media pro who has been turning in six straight hours per morning on both radio and cable TV year after year tackling the most controversial issues confronting the nation on a very big stage and facing the heat that comes with sticking your neck out on a regular basis,” says Michael Harrison, editor-in-chief of the publication.

“This man understands the First Amendment and knows how to exercise it on a level that keeps it alive and well in a turbulent environment in which it is always under assault.”

The award, named for the late talk radio host Gene Burns, recognizes broadcasters who raise public consciousness about the First Amendment, “while displaying courage and commitment in exercising those rights.”

POLL DU JOUR

42% of U.S. adults say Sen. Bernard Sanders is “too liberal”; 73% of Republicans, 39% of independents and 21% of Democrats agree.

27% say his ideology is “about right”; 9% of Republicans, 20% of independents and 53% of Democrats agree.

6% say he is “not liberal enough”; 4% of Republicans, 5% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.

26% do not know whether Mr. Sanders is too liberal, not liberal enough or about right; 15% of Republicans, 37% of independents and 19% of Democrats agree.

51% of registered U.S. voters say Mr. Sanders is “too liberal”; 31% call his ideology “about right”; 5% say “not liberal enough”; and 13% don’t know.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. ADULTS, 1,164 OF WHOM ARE registered voters, conducted May 5-7.

Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com