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 SandersNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina 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) CrowleyOcasio-Cortez defends decision not to pay dues to House Democratic campaign arm Hill.TV's Krystal Ball says Ocasio-Cortez has become a force in Democratic Party Ocasio-Cortez: 'In any other country Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party' 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