Have months of Fox News hyperventilating and right-wing fear mongering over our supposed socialist-in-chief finally paid off? A majority of voters now think President Barack Obama is a socialist, at least according to one new poll.
The poll (PDF) from Democracy Corps finds that 55 percent of likely voters believe that the word “socialist” describes the president either “well” or “very well.”
Peyton Craighill, a senior associate at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a firm that does polling for Democracy Corps, attributed the surprising number to voters’ impatience with the lagging economy.
“It probably has to do with the fact that people are very unhappy with the dire economy and the fact that the budget deficit is quite large,” Craighill said. “People who don’t like the man are going to use any label they can to ding him, even if they don’t think he’s a socialist in the vein of the Soviet Union or China.”
June’s poll was the first Democracy Corps survey to ask respondents if they consider the President to be a socialist, but Craighill said the monthly poll will continue to ask the question in the future. “It’s something we want to track on future reporting for how this might relate to the Tea Party movement,” he said. Craighill expects Democracy Corps to publish a report specific to the Tea Party movement in a few weeks.
The poll was conducted June 19-22. It surveyed 1,001 adults who voted in 2008, including 867 adults likely to vote in 2010 and 134 “drop-off” voters, defined as 2008 voters less likely to vote in 2010. Its margin of error is ±3.0.
Thomas Rhiel is TPM’s polling fellow.