There’s a new poll from the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia that has some talking.
According to the poll, 52% of Trump voters surveyed and 41% of Biden voters “somewhat agree” or “strongly agree” that it’s time to split the country, agreeing that “the situation is such that I would favor [Blue/Red] states seceding from the union to form their own separate country.”
Now, a lot of media are reporting this and emphasizing the Trump voter part (not so much the 41% pf Biden voters), so you have headlines like Newsweek’s “Majority of Trump Voters Want to Split the Nation Into ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ Halves.”
The number is a pretty significant number, although the poll is a small poll of only about 1000 for each group of voters. It was conducted between July 22 and August 4 and was conducted online. It’s hard to know how reflective that truly is, although there are definitely folks on the right who express the feeling and definitely folks on the left voicing that opinion all over on social media. Although social media is not a true microcosm of reality, I do think it’s fair to say it’s a thought that has some legs. How deep it runs, who knows?
According to the poll, six in ten Trump and Biden voters also agreed that America was less of the representative democracy than it was supposed to be and more rigged for the wealthy.
But one thing that makes me really doubt the accuracy of the poll was that it claimed over 40% of both sets of voters favored doing away with the checks and balances built into federal government and handing essentially full control to the president. I mean, I may be wrong but I really don’t see folks on the right dispensing with checks and balances. Folks on the left? Yes, I do see that. They already want Joe Biden to have full control and go right around Congress to do what he wants.
At the same time, the poll seems to call that into question, with 80% saying they view democracy as preferable, which would seem to militate against giving all the power to the president.
This isn’t the first poll to deal with the question of secession, however.
In June, a survey found that a whopping two-thirds of Republicans in the South favored secession, while nearly half of Democrats in the Pacific region and 40% in the Northeast felt the same.
Support for secession is also considerable among independents in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions, where 43 percent say they would favor breaking away and forming their own country.
Half of independents in the South also favor secession while 43 percent of Republicans in the Rocky Mountain states share the same view.
That survey, which was conducted by Bright Line Watch, polled 2,750 respondents.
Two relatively recent polls make it appear to be more than just a passing idea.
I wrote about how that division seems very severe at times — almost as though there are two Americas already — including over the divide in the approach to COVID, where there’s a basic distinction between those that support freedom and those that would accede to every restriction that the government would impose in the name of “safety.”
But one thing that is very clear — not only haven’t people been more unified by Joe Biden, he’s actually increased the division with all the harmful policies that he’s put into play. Now his actions make those divisions even sharper and that’s, no doubt, feeding the thought even more.