Poll Shows Bernie, Warren Supporters Have Some Crazy Views on Free Speech

bernie sanders

The following is a national survey of likely voters published by The Heartland Institute, a national free-market think tank, and Rasmussen Reports, one of America’s leading polling firms, on the topic of free speech, socialism, and Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Conducted November 13-14, 2019
By The Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports

1*Should federal or state governments ban speech by individuals that a majority of Americans believes to be offensive, including speech considered to be racist or sexist?
27% Yes
50% No
24% Not sure

2*Should those who violate such bans against offensive speech be punished with jail time?
48% Yes
35% No
17% Not sure

3*Should those who say or write things a majority of Americans believes to be offensive, including speech considered to be racist or sexist, be banned from holding public office, such as becoming a member of Congress or president of the United States?
38% Yes
44% No
18% Not sure

4* Would you vote for a presidential candidate who identifies himself or herself as a socialist?
26% Yes
50% No
24% Not sure

5* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of Bernie Sanders?
18% Very favorable
29% Somewhat favorable
17% Somewhat unfavorable
31% Very unfavorable
5% Not sure

6* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of Elizabeth Warren?
17% Very favorable
25% Somewhat favorable
15% Somewhat unfavorable
34% Very unfavorable
9% Not sure

Free Speech and Supporters of Bernie Sanders

  • 51% of those who say they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders said federal or state governments should “ban speech by individuals that a majority of Americans believes to be offensive, including speech considered to be racist or sexist.” 36% of those who say they have a “somewhat favorable” view of Sanders say “offensive” speech should be banned.
  • Of those who said “offensive” speech should be banned by government (see question above), 58% of those with a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders said “those who violate such bans against offensive speech” should “be punished with jail time.” 45% with a “somewhat favorable” view of Sanders held the same opinion.
  • 61% of those who say they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders also said “those who say or write things a majority of Americans believes to be offensive, including speech considered to be racist or sexist” should “be banned from holding public office.” 55% of those who say they have a “somewhat favorable” view of Sanders held the same view.

Free Speech and Supporters of Elizabeth Warren

  • 49% of those who say they have a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren said federal or state governments should “ban speech by individuals that a majority of Americans believes to be offensive, including speech considered to be racist or sexist.” 37% of those who say they have a “somewhat favorable” view of Warren say “offensive” speech should be banned.
  • Of those who said “offensive” speech should be banned by government (see question above), 56% of those with a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren said “those who violate such bans against offensive speech” should “be punished with jail time.” 45% with a “somewhat favorable” view of Warren held the same opinion.
  • 67% of those who say they have a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren also said “those who say or write things a majority of Americans believes to be offensive, including speech considered to be racist or sexist” should “be banned from holding public office.” 51% of those who say they have a “somewhat favorable” view of Warren held the same view.

How Other Demographics Answered These Questions

  • More than one in three (37%) of Democrats said federal or state governments should “ban speech by individuals that a majority of Americans believes to be offensive, including speech considered to be racist or sexist.”
  • Of those Democrats who said “offensive” speech should be banned by government (see question above), 46% said “those who violate such bans against offensive speech” should “be punished with jail time.”
  • 42% of respondents who said they are employed by the government also said federal or state governments should “ban speech by individuals that a majority of Americans believes to be offensive, including speech considered to be racist or sexist.”
  • Of those government workers who said “offensive” speech should be banned by government (see question above), 62% said “those who violate such bans against offensive speech” should “be punished with jail time.”
  • 54% of government workers said “those who say or write things a majority of Americans believes to be offensive, including speech considered to be racist or sexist” should “be banned from holding public office.”
  • 50% of respondents who said they would “vote for a presidential candidate who identifies himself or herself as a socialist” also said federal or state governments should “ban speech by individuals that a majority of Americans believes to be offensive, including speech considered to be racist or sexist.”
  • Of those respondents who said they would vote for a presidential candidate who self-identifies as a socialist and that federal or state governments should “ban speech” considered to be offensive (see question above), 68% said “those who violate such bans against offensive speech” should “be punished with jail time.”
  • Of those respondents who said they would vote for a presidential candidate who self-identifies as a socialist, 60% said “those who say or write things a majority of Americans believes to be offensive, including speech considered to be racist or sexist” should “be banned from holding public office.”

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence, except question 2, which has a sampling error of +/- 6%.

PHOTO: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont speaking at a town meeting at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)