- A new poll found that 43% of Americans believe a civil war will break out in the next 10 years.
- It found that Republicans are more likely to agree that such a conflict will take place soon.
- The poll of 1,500 US citizens was sampled based on surveys conducted by the US Census Bureau.
A new poll of 1,500 American citizens found that 43% of them think it’s likely a civil war will break out over the next decade, an indicator of the growing concern about America’s political divide.
The poll conducted last week by the Economist and UK-headquartered analytics firm YouGov found that 55% of self-identified “strong” Republicans believed civil war is at least somewhat likely, while 40% of self-identified “strong” Democrats felt the same.
Meanwhile, 39% of those who said they were “not very strong Democrats,” 40% of those who identified as “Independents,” and 45% of those who indicated they were “not very strong Republicans” answered the same.
YouGov said it chose its survey participants according to gender, age, race, and education based on the 2018 American Community Survey conducted by the US Census Bureau.
The poll also showed that fewer Americans believed civil war wouldn’t happen in the next 10 years compared to the number of Americans who thought it would.
About one-third — 35% — of those polled said such an internal conflict is unlikely or not at all likely, while 22% are unsure.
Meanwhile, three out of five of those polled felt that political violence and division in the US would increase over the next few years. Few saw the situation improving, with only 9% believing that political violence would diminish.
Concerns about a possible civil war have increasingly come to the fore.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden met privately with a group of top historians who warned him that the current state of affairs at home and abroad was comparable to the eras that preceded the American Civil War and World War II.
In February, GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger warned that current partisan conditions could lead to the possibility of civil war. He made the comment just after being censured by the Republican National Committee for investigating the Capitol riot.
“We’re identifying now by our race, by our ethnic group, we’re separating ourselves and we live in different realities,” he said. “And I think we have to warn and talk about it so that we can recognize that and fight hard against it and put our country over our parties, because our survival actually matters.”
Barbara F. Walter, a political science professor at the University of California at San Diego, told the Washington Post in March that the country was at risk of an insurgency — a modern type of civil war that tends to be more decentralized and often fought by multiple groups using domestic terror tactics and guerilla warfare.
Per the outlet, she said the Capitol riot had helped the public understand the idea of how destructive an insurgency can be.
“People who study this, we’ve been seeing these groups have been around now for over 10 years,” Walter told the Post. “They’ve been growing. I know that they’re training. They’ve been in the shadows, but we know about them.”
Recently, NBC News reported on a spike in online mentions of civil war among far-right extremists and supporters of former President Donald Trump following the FBI’s raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence on August 8.
“In these right-wing and extremist spaces, they interpret the Mar-a-Lago search not as a legitimate legal process but as the first shots of a war by the federal government,” Alex Friedfield, a researcher with the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, told Insider’s Laura Italiano.
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