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Poll: Two-Thirds of Southern Republicans Want to Secede

A new YouGov-BrightlineWatch poll that was released this month found that Americans are so divided among ideological lines that a solid majority of Republicans in the South want their states to secede from the Union.

Source: AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton

The survey laid out a bunch of hypothetical scenarios in which the United States is carved out into smaller regional powers consisting of a handful of states:

Pacific: California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, and Alaska
Mountain: Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico
South: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee
Heartland: Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, and Nebraska
Northeast: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia

In order to accomplish this, states would have to secede from the Union and form geographical alliances. And while this desire was substantially more prevalent than in states located south of the Mason-Dixon Line – also known as the former Confederacy – a shocking percentage of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans from every proposed bloc of states said that they would support secession.

“Yet rather than support for secession diminishing over the past six months, as we expected, it rose in every region and among nearly every partisan group. The jump is most dramatic where support was already highest (and has the greatest historical precedent) — among Republicans in the South, where secession support leaped from 50% in January/February to 66% in June. Support among Republicans in the Mountain region increased as well, by 7 points, from 36% to 43%. Among Democrats in the West, a near-majority of 47% (up 6 points) supports a schism, as do 39% (up 5 points) in the Northeast. Support jumped 9 points among independents in the Heartland as well, reaching 43%. Even subordinate partisan groups appear to find secession more appealing now than they did last winter, though only increases for Democrats in the South, Heartland, and Mountain regions are statistically discernible at the 0.05 significance level. The broad and increasing willingness of respondents to embrace these alternatives is a cause for concern,” BrightlineWatch noted in its analysis.

“As in our previous report, we caution that this survey item reflects initial reactions by respondents about an issue that they are very unlikely to have considered carefully,” the organization explained. “Secession is a genuinely radical proposition and expressions of support in a survey may map only loosely onto willingness to act toward that end. We include the question because it taps into respondents’ commitments to the American political system at the highest level and with reference to a concrete alternative (regional unions).”

Additionally, the survey classified former President “Donald Trump’s continued refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election as highly abnormal and important,” stressing that Trump “remains a political lightning rod, particularly his false narratives about the 2020 election and his role in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.”

BrightlineWatch explained that “in general, our repeated candidate choice experiment shows remarkable stasis among partisans, who are both miles apart and solidly locked into their preferences. But we also find some discernible movement among independents, who have moved in the direction of positions favored by Democrats on infrastructure spending and on the legitimacy of the 2020 election.”

The full survey and its report are available here.



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