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Millennials don’t like socialism or capitalism, poll says

In a hypothetical match-up between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, Clinton has a 36-percentage point advantage, according to a new poll.Wire photos

A national poll of millennials found a majority of those surveyed don’t support capitalism or socialism, and they generally have a negative view about the future of the United States.

The Harvard Institute of Politics survey, released Monday, showed that 42 percent of 18- to 29-year olds supported capitalism as an economic theory, while 33 percent backed socialism.

However a majority of likely voters in the survey — 52 percent — said they supported capitalism.

Overall, the generation struggling with student debt and an uneven economy had a dire outlook on the country. Just 15 percent said the nation was on the right track, while 47 percent disagreed and said the nation was on the wrong track.


“Young Americans are sending a strong message. They care deeply about the future, but are concerned that the current state of our institutions and our politics is not sufficient to meet our nation’s challenges,” said institute polling director John Della Volpe. “We hope that in the remaining months of the campaign, candidates from both parties work to rebuild the trust that’s been eroded and inspire millennials to not only vote, but engage in civic life.”

In the presidential race, the Democratic Party appeared to be the better option among the more than 3,000 surveyed over three weeks in late March and early April. Support for a generic Democratic presidential candidate has doubled compared with Republicans in the last survey, taken last spring.

In a hypothetical match-up between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, Clinton has a 36-percentage point advantage. Clinton leads Trump, 61 percent to 25 percent, with 14 percent of respondents saying they were unsure about the race.

Trump is hurt by his lack of support from young Republicans in the poll. His score is lower than a generic Republican candidate.


The poll showed US Senator Bernie Sanders was the only candidate who was more liked than disliked by survey respondents.

The survey showed that millennials were also distrustful of institutions in general. They expressed distrust for Wall Street, Congress, the president, and most of the media.

The one institution that more than 50 percent of respondents said they trusted was the military.

The millennial age group also largely rejected labels in the poll. Less than half identified themselves as feminists or patriots, though 57 percent said they backed the concept of patriotism.

This group was also deeply cynical about the advancement of women and the criminal justice system.

Nearly 60 percent believed that women face a glass ceiling in business and government, and 64 percent thought men had an advantage in these areas.

What’s more, fewer than half of the millennial respondents expressed confidence that the criminal justice system was fair and without bias.

The survey polled 3,183 young Americans between the age of 18 and 29 using KnowledgePanel, an online survey service, in both Spanish and English.

James Pindell can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell. Click here to subscribe to his daily e-mail update on the 2016 campaign.