September 8, 2020
Bill Shapard

Capitalism favored much more than socialism, but nearly one third of Oklahoma Democrats like socialism

The leftward turn of Democrats towards socialism at the national level may be growing, but among likely voting Oklahoma Democrats capitalism is still favored, although it may be not enough for some.

Overall, capitalism is seen favorably by 72.3 percent of likely voting Oklahomans, of which 'very favorable' was 48 percent, and 17.6 percent were unfavorable. With regard to socialism, only 18.4 percent were favorable and 70.9 percent were unfavorable.

Among Republicans, the views were the most stark, with 82.9 percent favorable toward capitalism and 90.3 percent unfavorable of socialism.

Democrats, however, were more mixed with only 57.6 percent favorable towards capitalism and only 48.3 percent unfavorable with socialism. Nearly one-third, or 31.2 percent, of Democrats had a favorable view of socialism, compared to only 5.7 percent among Republicans.

Independents were naturally more in the middle of the results for Republicans and Democrats, with 77.2 percent favorable of capitalism and 57.9 percent unfavorable towards socialism.


1. Very favorable8.6%2. Somewhat favorable22.63. Neutral/no opinion20.54. Somewhat unfavorable16.05. Very unfavorable32.3


Interestingly, 20.5 percent of Democrats did not have an opinion or were neutral towards socialism, compared to only four percent of Republicans. This may indicate that one-in-five Democrats do not have enough information about socialism, what it is, or its result when tried around the world since the end of World War II.

Among self identified 'very liberal' voters, socialism was seen favorably by a whopping 75.3 percent of likely voters. These voters make up roughly nine percent of the entire state's electorate. Compared to self-identified moderates, for example, only 14.3 percent viewed socialism favorably.

Among those who were pessimistic about the national economy rebounding in the next six months, 32.3 percent or nearly one-in-three, were favorable towards socialism.

Conventional wisdom might be that socialism would be more favorable among younger Oklahoma voters, a result seen in nationwide polling, but that is not the case in Oklahoma. A strong majority of those under the age of 34 found socialism unfavorable, although they were also more likely to not have an opinion than older voters.

About the Poll, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, asked these questions of Oklahoma likely voters as part of the SoonerPoll Quarterly Poll.

The scientific study was conducted from August 13-31, 2020 with 379 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a tri-frame of both landline telephone and cell phones, plus SoonerPoll's proprietary online panel. The sample was weighted by age, political party, and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a primary election. The weighting was conducted using a 'layered technique.'

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative and attending religious services once or more per week. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ±5.03 percent.

This poll not only conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls but exceeds the standard disclosure with a Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The poll's Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report can be viewed here. A beta version of the Weighting Table Report can be viewed here.

PHOTO: On 12th Ave., just south of the intersection with E. Pine St., in front of the Seattle Police Department East Precinct building on June 17, 2020. The graffiti on the barricades read, “Black lives Matter / CAPITALISM KILLS / Fight Racism Punch Nazis / Blue lives take Lives." Photo by Benjamin Morawek

Bill Shapard
About the Author

Bill Shapard

Bill is the founder of and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on major campaigns for both Republicans and Democrats in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.