A new poll indicates half of Americans who identify as Democrats like socialism.

“Fifty-five percent of Americans tell Reason-Rupe they have a favorable opinion of capitalism. Meanwhile, 36 percent of those surveyed, including 33 percent of independents and 26 percent of self-described tea-party supporters, have a favorable opinion of socialism,” the poll’s summary said.

“Half of Democrats, 50 percent, have a favorable opinion of socialism, nearly identical to the 53 percent who have a favorable opinion of capitalism,” it said.

The poll by Princeton Survey Research Associates International for Reason-Rupe interviewed 1,000 adults on cell phones and landlines Aug. 6-10. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percent.

It aligns fairly closely with other recent polls, showing 60 percent of Americans believe the nation is on the wrong path and only 43 percent approve of Barack Obama’s performance as president.

According to the poll’s crosstabs, of those who identified as Democrats, 52 percent said they had a favorable view of socialism, while among those who identified as Democrat-leaning, 45 percent said they shared that view.

Only 33 percent of independents shared the view and only 19 percent of Republicans.

Among other highlights of the survey, Obama’s foreign policy is approved by only 37 percent of Americans and not even one in five like the job Congress is doing. Most Americans want members of Congress held to the same law as everyone else, and three of four want a balanced-budget amendment.

Other areas of focus were Obama’s power, the economy and ways Americans can cancel out the work of Congress and the president if a majority disagrees.

“As President Barack Obama orders airstrikes in Iraq and considers taking executive action on immigration, the latest Reason-Rupe national telephone poll finds that 42 percent of Americans feel he has expanded the power of the presidency ‘too much’ during his time in office,” the summary said.

And “when it comes to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, 53 percent of Americans believe the United States should be less involved in negotiating a long-term peace agreement – 36 percent feel the U.S. should stay out of the negotiations entirely and 17 percent say the U.S. should be less involved than it is today,” the report said.

It showed 75 percent of Americans disapprove of the work Congress has been doing.

“There’s little enthusiasm for either party to take over Congress this November. Thirty-four percent of Americans say they would prefer that neither major party control Congress, 33 percent hope Republicans control Congress after the 2014 elections, and 29 percent want Democrats in control,” the report said.

“Nearly four out of 10 likely voters, 39 percent, say the economy is the No. 1 issue influencing how they’ll vote in the November elections. Perhaps surprisingly, education is the second most important issue to voters (16 percent), followed by foreign policy (15 percent), immigration (10 percent), and health care (10 percent).”

The poll also showed most Americans want Congress to focus on policies that promote economic growth, while 20 percent want more work on reducing “income inequality.”

In a result that Washington may want to note, the report said: “Fifty percent of Americans say they’re open to allowing states to repeal federal laws if half or more of the states, representing at least half of the country’s total population, vote to repeal a law.”

And well over half of Americans want a smaller government, with fewer programs.

“The public is split on the government’s role in promoting values – 49 percent say government should not favor any set of values but 47 percent believe government should promote ‘traditional’ values,” the summary said.

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