Once upon a time, referring to a Democrat as a “socialist” was an insult. Now? Not so much.

HotAir’s Allah Pundit pointed out Monday that in a few short months, full throttled socialism is making a comeback. Data released by YouGov explored socialism tolerance among political parties.

Compare the stats from May:

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To the stats from October:

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49% of Democrats surveyed have a favorable opinion of socialism compared to 11% of Republicans, and only 37% of Democrats enjoy capitalism the way 72% of Republicans do.

It’s worth noting that Republican numbers wavered slightly as well: a 2% increase in socialistic favorability and a 7% loss in capitalism love. Yet those numbers are still reflective of the ideological norms of most Republicans.

What accounts for the rapid Democratic shift leftward?

In a word: SandersMentum. You can thank Bernie for sparking the resurgence in socialism’s popularity among Democrats. Running as a “Democratic Socialist,” Sanders has promised free everything, hearts Scandinavian style social programs, and has the coveted Occupy Wall Street endorsement.

But surely Sanders’ proclivity towards the dreaded S-word is an outlier, right?

Not exactly. Democrats desperately trying to distance themselves from the Scarlet S struggled to explain how their party platform and socialism are incongruent with one another. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz attempted to to rebrand “Democratic Socialism” as “Progressive Populism,” but not even MSNBC bought the semantic bait and switch.

Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate Jim Webb dropped out of the Democratic primary to consider running as an independent. Webb cited an aversion to “labels” as one reason for kissing the Democrats good-bye.

“Some people say I am a Republican who became a Democrat, but that I often sound like a Republican in a room full of Democrats or a Democrat in a room full of Republicans,” said Webb. “More people in this country called themselves independents than Republicans and Democrats. Our country is more important than a label. The other party in America is not the enemy.”

During the first Democratic presidential primary debate last week, Webb was remarkably out of place among his fellow candidates. Webb’s desire to focus on practically applicable solutions was no match for a party that has lurched so far left, their biggest concern is controlling the weather.

Hillary too, has jumped into the contest of which candidate is the most left-leaning. Once identifying as a moderate, she now self-identifies as “progressive.” Or at least she did last week.

“Socialism” for political expediency? Voter ignorance? Or are Democrats finally getting somewhat comfortable in the sunlight? I’d argue it’s a hybrid of all of the above.

Regardless, the Democratic party can now claim they’ve successfully taken socialism mainstream.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye