Chart of the Day: Americans Increasingly Are Looking for a National Divorce

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The impression that a civil war could be brewing has spread to the general public, and as a Gallup poll indicates, to a large extent.

When looking at all adult US citizens responding to the survey, 43 percent said they think that a civil war is at least somewhat likely in their country in the coming decade. As the below chart shows, those identifying as “strong Democrats” were slightly more optimistic overall, but 40 percent still held this position. A majority of “strong Republicans,” on the other hand, said they think civil war is coming – 54 percent. See this in the chart below and learn more here.

However, there is an alternative – a legal separation in a national divorce. Nearly one in four US adults would support a national divorce in the United States, where red and blue-leaning states would divide into two countries, according to a recent poll carried out by The Economist and YouGov.

While a majority of US adults disagreed with the idea, a slight imbalance appears when looking at a breakdown along party lines. As our chart shows, a greater share of Republicans agreed with the statement “We need a national divorce. We need to separate red states and blue states…” than Democrats or Independents. See this in the chart below and learn more here.

A poll taken back in 2014, organized by Reuters, found that 23.9 percent of Americans would favor their state seceding from the rest of the country. Residents of the Southwest and the Rockies were the most likely to voice support, polling at 34 percent and 25 percent, respectively. A plurality of would-be secessionists reported an annual income of $25,000 or less, and as a shock to no one, more Republicans than Democrats want to break free. See this in the chart below and learn more here.

Succession Supporters by Region

A more recent poll in 2021 shows support for secession under the specific hypothetical union’s format is illustrated in the map below. As in the previous survey, levels of expressed support for secession are arrestingly high, with 37% of respondents overall indicating willingness to secede. Within each region, the dominant partisan group is most supportive of secession. Republicans are most secessionist in the South and Mountain regions, whereas it is Democrats on the West Coast and in the Northeast. In the narrowly divided Heartland region, it is partisan independents who find the idea most attractive. See this in the chart below and learn more here.

Support for secession from the United States to join new, regional unions

From two surveys taken from 2014 to 2022, we can see a clear trend that, increasingly, Americans are looking for a national divorce. Will this stave off any potential civil war? Give us your take in the comment section below.

See more Chart of the Day posts

By Tom Williams

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