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Majority in new poll says they would not vote for socialist: Gallup

A majority of Americans surveyed in a new poll said they would not vote for a socialist candidate for president, with the most opposition coming from Republican voters. 

Asked whether they would vote for their party nominee who was a "generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be socialist," just 45 percent said yes and 53 percent said no, according to the Gallup poll released Tuesday. 

The acceptance for a socialist nominee is 2 percentage points lower in the recent poll than when Gallup asked the same question in June 2015. 

Democrats are much more likely to say they would vote for a socialist, based on the new poll. Gallup found that 76 percent of Democrats said they would vote for a socialist, whereas just 17 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of independents said the same. 

The situation could play out in the November elections, with President Trump and his allies already slamming the Democrats as socialists. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a leading candidate in the race, has also openly described himself as a democratic socialist. 

The term "democratic socialist" does not appear to have been polled by Gallup in its survey. 

One of Sanders's top opponents, former Vice President Joe Biden, has said that having the Vermont senator on the top of the ticket could create a battle for down-ballot candidates in moderate races. 

Gallup also surveyed Americans on their willingness to vote for candidates with other diverse characteristics, several of which are identifying factors for some of this year's Democratic presidential candidates. 

Gallup found that 93 percent of surveyed Americans said they would vote for a woman, a 1-point increase since 2015, when Hillary Clinton was on her way to becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party.

Gallup has reported a steady increase in Americans' willingness to vote for a woman since it started asking the question in 1958, when just 54 percent of Americans said they'd vote for a female candidate. 

Three women remain in the 2020 field, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), after an unprecedented number of women ran at the beginning of the primary. 

The new Gallup poll also found that 93 percent of Americans said they would vote for a Jewish candidate. Sanders would be the first Jewish nominee for president and the first Jewish president if ultimately successful. 

Americans have become increasingly willing to vote for a gay or lesbian candidate since Gallup began asking the question in 1983, according to the poll. Gallup found that 78 percent of Americans, including 89 percent of Democrats, said they would vote for a gay candidate, based on the poll.  

More than eight in 10 independents - 82 percent - and 62 percent of Republicans also said they would vote for a gay or lesbian presidential candidate. 

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) is the first openly gay major presidential candidate. He would become the first openly gay presidential nominee and first gay president if elected. 

Gallup surveyed 1,033 adults from Jan. 16 to 29. There is a margin of error of 4 percentage points. 

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