NEW YORK - The financial crisis has hit the United States hard, and media reports suggest that the country is leaning toward socialism after the US government taking over majority stake in banks, bossing around the auto industry, and floating the possibility of nationalised healthcare. Only a slight majority of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, New Yorks Daily News reported. The survey found that support for capitalism is still very strong among American adults older than 40. Asked whether capitalism or socialism is a better system, 53 percent of American adults cited capitalism, 20 percent said socialism and 27 percent said they werent sure. That means even among the adults, one out of five Americans prefer socialism. According to the poll, more Republicans, by an 11-to-1 margin, believe capitalism is superior to socialism. Democrats are much more closely divided, with 39 pc preferring capitalism and 30pc backing socialism. For those with money in the market, investors by a 5-to-1 margin choose capitalism. While even among those who do not invest, 40 percent say capitalism is better, 25 percent say they prefer socialism. The change of support to capitalism, which is widely interpreted as free-market economy, is better demonstrated by an earlier survey by the same institution, which shows 70 percent of Americans prefer a free-market economy. The fact that a 'free-market economy attracts substantially more support than 'capitalism might suggest some skepticism about whether capitalism in the United States today relies on free markets, the authors said. The high percentage of support for socialism has shocked many Americans. Bruce Watson wrote in Daily Finance with a big headline: Is America becoming socialist? Watson argued that these survey results, following close on the heels of the passage of the Obama administrations massive fiscal stimulus and industry bailout package, do not herald the end of capitalism. He added that the stimulus plan is designed to recharge the market. By developing a smart grid, improving infrastructure and investing in education, it will, hopefully, provide the conditions necessary for the markets next period of growth. But the ultimate irony, according to Watson, will be if todays socialist stimulus proves tomorrows capitalist salvation.