Nearly A Third Of Americans Believe A Second Civil War Is On The Horizon

Bullet Points
'Battle of Gettysburg' by Thure de Thulstrup
Library of Congress

A new poll confirms that a significant number of Americans have the health of the Union on their mind.


A national survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports indicates that a full 31% of American voters believe the U.S. "will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years," while 59% of voters see the prospect of a nation-dividing conflict unlikely. Add in the (I assume) 10% of voters who had no opinion on the matter and that's 69% of voters who aren't worried — which is, you know, nice. I'm a glass half full kind of guy.

Here's some more information from the Rasmussen poll to mull over:

  • The last time Americans were this fearful of a civil war was during the second year of President Barack Obama's first term, when the Tea Party fervor that followed his election delivered Republicans both chambers of Congress.
  • Rasmussen found that Democrats are most "fearful" of a civil war with 37%, followed by Republicans at 32%, and independent voters with 26%.
  • It's worth noting that while "most" voters are worried about political violence from "from those opposed to Trump’s policies," a whopping 59% of all voters, regardless of political affiliation, believe that "that those critical of the media’s coverage of Trump will resort to violence." That is pretty insane.
  • Then there's race: "Forty-four percent (44%) of blacks think a second civil war is likely in the next five years, a view shared by 28% of whites and 36% of other minority voters," Rasmussen reports.

The polling comes on the heels of a political scientist's concern for the United States heading for a "soft civil war" sparked a lively discussion over at The Long March. One of my T&P; colleagues made a salient point to me regarding this type of polling. "I find conversations about a civil war dangerous in themselves," he told me, adding that "the idea is really starting to take hold." Which brings me back to Tom Ricks' question over at The Long March: Why do rational people continue to express such concerns?

Leave your thoughts in the comments. We'd love to hear them, as always.

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