Pollster: Despite flashy headline, Dems haven't become more supportive of socialism

Pollster Lee Miringoff on Thursday said that Democrats have not become more supportive of socialism despite increased coverage of New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Biden to debate for first time as front-runner Rules for first Democratic primary debates announced MORE (I-Vt.), both of whom identify as democratic socialists. 

“The question that Gallup asked about socialism and capitalism did not provide any definition of what those words are, and I think that's a problem right now,” Miringoff, who is the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." 

Miringoff was referring to a recent Gallup poll, which showed Democratic support for capitalism has dipped to 47 percent from 56 percent in 2016. 

The survey also found that 57 percent of Democrats view socialism positively, a number that has held study since 2010. 

"I mean, in the old days, they talked about socialism as being government owned. Today it probably means a set of programs but they don't even talk about what that is, so it is really, 'what does it mean to you?' and that may be very different in terms of 'well, it's capitalism, it's socialism,' and we put all kinds of meaning on it," Miringoff said. 

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, who beat out longtime Rep. Joe CrowleyJoseph (Joe) CrowleyBronx restaurants thank Ocasio-Cortez for her endorsements Ocasio-Cortez fundraises off criticism from Steve King K Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers MORE (D-N.Y.), in her district's primary, have become prominent progressive figures within the Democratic Party. 

However, many of the candidates they have endorsed have been unsuccessful in their primaries. Only one Sanders-backed candidate, was successful in their respective primary races last week.

— Julia Manchester