Following the stunning victory of a self-described “socialist” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, polling indicates that most Americans don’t want socialism and government handouts. They want to make a better life for themselves and for the kids to have more opportunity in the future.

Results from a new poll from the left-leaning think tank, Third Way, finds that Americans want an agenda of greater freedom and independence from government – not dependence on it. They make a case against policymakers from the center-left embracing ideas of socialism.

The irony is that the center-right and conservatives have been the ones fighting for opportunity – not dependency. I guess the left is now catching up to what Americans really want.

Here’s where Americans stand on some key socialist policy ideas:

  • Government economic policies: Spread opportunity (46%) v. address income inequality (26%)

  • Economic hurdles: Inequality of opportunity to get ahead (44%) v. income inequality (36%)

  • Job creation: Government working with the private sector (43%), reducing regulations and taxes (34%), government guaranteeing jobs (13%)

  • Higher education: Every student who enters college graduates (41%), free college tuition for all (27%), free market determines which colleges succeed/fail (23%)

  • Minimum wage: Raise nationally (61%), raise to $15 nationally ($18%), keep current national level (12%)

  • Healthcare: Keep and improve ACA (36%), repeal ACA (29%), single-payer (29%)

Americans’ position on Medicare-for-All is stunning and might only get worse as they learn how much a plan like this would cost. New estimates say that Senator Bernie Sanders’ plan would ring up at $33 trillion over a decade.

Conservative should take note that wage growth is important to Americans and unless they see something change, they would embrace national and regional minimum wage increases. 

The big picture takeaway from this poll is that earning a good life in America today is not easy for over half of Americans (54%) and they (51%) think it will only get harder.

A plurality of Americans views opportunity as fleeing for young people in the future (41%) although interestingly it’s older generations such as Baby Boomers and Generation X that believe there will be less opportunity in the future for today’s teens compared to a plurality of Millennials who think there will be greater opportunity.

We’ll look to see if policymakers on the left embrace these socialist ideas or follow their constituents who see a crisis in opportunity in our nation and support greater economic freedom as the solution.