American adults under 30 are almost evenly divided on the question
Which is a better system – capitalism or socialism?
37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided. For the US population as a whole, only a bare majority prefer capitalism (53% prefer capitalism, 20% socialism, and 27% are undecided.)
Granted that socialism can mean anything from “Policies adopted by Joe Stalin” to “Policies deplored by Joe the Plumber”, these are quite striking results, and certainly help to explain why the invocation of the socialist bogy by JTP and other Republican hacks has been so ineffective (to the point that JTP has recently taken to adding a “neo” prefix, which certainly made both “liberal” and “conservative” scarier).
A couple of random observations. First, I’ve seen occasional (both pejorative and positive) uses of the term “social democrat” in the US context, but it hasn’t got anywhere near establishing itself yet.
Second, this is yet another observation that suggests to me the end of US exceptionalism. My impression is that Americans aged under 30 are much more like young people elsewhere in the developed world in terms of political, social and religious attitudes than were previous cohorts. More precisely perhaps, the large group clustered around evangelical Christianity/traditional Southern white values that makes the US so exceptional doesn’t seem to be replacing itself.