2020 Annual Poll

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) today released its fifth Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes Toward Socialism, Communism, and Collectivism. The report, polled by internationally recognized research and data firm YouGov, synthesizes data from 2,100 representative U.S. respondents ages 16 and older, and the margin of error is plus or minus 2.32%.

This year’s study showed increased favorability of the term ‘socialism’ (49%) among Gen Z compared to 2019 (40%). Opinions of capitalism declined slightly from 2019 to 2020 among all Americans (58% to 55%), with Gen Z (ages 16-23) slightly up (49% to 52%) and Millennials (ages 24-39) down (50% to 43%). 35% of Millennials and 31% of Gen Z support the gradual elimination of the capitalist system in favor of a more socialist system.

It also showed growing concern for Donald Trump as president, especially among younger generations of Americans, with 34% of Gen Z and 35% of Millennials seeing him as the greatest threat to world peace, up 8% and 7% from 2019, respectively. This sentiment held true regarding his handling of the pandemic as well, with 39% of Gen Z and 32% of Millennials believing Trump is more responsible for COVID-19 becoming a pandemic than Xi Jinping of China. Opinions of America’s inequality grew markedly from 2019 with 68% of Americans thinking that America’s highest earners don’t pay their fair share. Among these Americans, 57% of Gen Z and 60% of Millennials favor a complete change of our economic system away from capitalism — a 14% and 8% increase from 2019, respectively.

“It shocks the conscience that more Americans today believe the U.S. President is a bigger threat to world peace than the most brutal dictators in the world, and that four-in-ten Americans believe that their country is a ‘racist’ nation,” says Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. “This represents a total failure of our education system, not just in schools but also a basic dishonesty in our media and popular culture. When one-in-four Americans want to eliminate capitalism and embrace socialism, we know that we have failed to educate about the historical and moral failings of these ideologies.”

Key Takeaways

  • 40% of Americans have a favorable view of socialism, up from 36% in 2019. Socialist sentiment is increasing among younger generations with Gen Z’s favorability at 49%, up from 40% in 2019.
  • Over a quarter of Americans (26%) support the gradual elimination of the capitalist system in favor of a more socialist system with a surge in support among younger generations (31% of Gen Z and 35% of Millennials).
  • 18% of Gen Z and 13% of Millennials think communism is a fairer system than capitalism and deserves consideration in America.
  • 30% of Gen Z has a favorable view of Marxism, up 6% from 2019, compared to 27% of Millennials, down 9% from 2019.
  • Over one-third of Americans (39%) are likely to support a member of the Democratic Socialist party for office with greater support among younger generations (51% of Gen Z and 44% of Millennials). 16% of Gen Z and Millennials are likely to support a member of the Communist party for office.
  • 63% of Gen Z and Millennials (compared to 95% of the Silent Generation), believe the Declaration of Independence better guarantees freedom and inequality over the Communist Manifesto, a 6% increase for Millennials from 2019.
  • One-third of Americans (33%) believe Donald Trump is the biggest threat to world peace over Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un, Nicolás Maduro, and Vladimir Putin, a 6% increase from 2019.
  • 32% of Americans think that Donald Trump is responsible for the deaths of more people than Kim Jong-un.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans say they are unaware that the Chinese Communist Party is responsible for more deaths than Nazi Germany.
  • 47% of Americans believe Xi Jinping of China is more responsible for COVID-19 becoming a pandemic than Donald Trump; however, a higher proportion of Gen Z believes that Donald Trump is more responsible (39%).
  • Over a quarter (26%) of Americans think climate change is the number one threat to national security over the rise of the People’s Republic of China or Russian expansionism. The greatest concern for climate change is seen among younger generations (38% of Gen Z and 30% of Millennials).
  • Over half of Gen Z (51%) think that America is a racist nation with a long history of discrimination.
  • Only 44% of Gen Z thinks that the American flag most accurately represents freedom.
  • Americans increasingly distrust the government to take care of their interests, with 87% saying they trust themselves over the government and their community (a 7% increase from 2019). This is especially the case in younger generations, with only 6% of Gen Z and 5% of Millennials trusting the government to take care of their interests, down 8% and 11% from 2019, respectively.
  • 12% of Gen Z and 10% of Millennials think society would be better off if all private property was abolished and held by the government.
  • 53% of Americans think a good government should favor the freedom of its citizens over the safety of its citizens.

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For further information or to set up an interview with Marion Smith, please contact Emily Stewart (press@victimsofcommunism.org) or (202) 629-9500.