One in five Americans say they'd support a "national divorce" in which Republican- and Democratic-leaning states split into separate countries,according to new findings from our Axios-Ipsos Two Americas Index.
Why it matters: Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
- One way to look at it is… 20% of the U.S. population is such a small share that it's nowhere close to moving the needle.
- Or… it represents 66 million people! That's roughly equivalent to everyone in Texas, Wyoming, West Virginia, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Idaho, Arkansas, Kentucky, South Dakota, Alabama, Georgia and Nebraska combined — and larger than the populations of most countries in the world.
Zoom in: The national divorce provocation, floated by Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-Ga.) in recent weeks, lacks majority support among every slice of the population surveyed.
- But support for splitting up the United States was stronger among Americans whose primary source for news is Fox News or another conservative outlet (32%), and higher among Republicans (25%) than independents or Democrats.
- Men, people who make $50,000 or less per year, and those living in states in the South and West also were more likely than their respective counterparts to support a split.
- The survey also found that people who had not shared a meal in the past year with someone from a different political party were more likely to support a national divorce than those who had.
Overall, there was even less support for the idea of one's own state seceding from the union (16%) than for a national split into two countries (20%).
- Only 12% of respondents said they'd be likely to a move to a state that wanted to secede, while 47% said they'd likely leave a state that tried to secede.
The big picture: Only 37% of Americans said they're optimistic about the state of our democracy.
- 6 in 10 say the U.S. should actively work to reduce polarization — compared with 1 in 10 who favor letting things be and 3 in 10 who don't know what to do.
- Nearly 2 in 3 Americans now say there's more that divides us than unites us.
What they're saying: "Americans’ deep political fault lines are clear and engrained in our psyche and politics," and talk of national divorce or secession "leaves us with a divided nation with little hope of reconciliation," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.
What we're watching: Asked who's driving polarization, respondents were four times as likely to blame "political and social elites" (61%) than "how ordinary Americans think and behave" (15%).
Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted March 10–13 by Ipsos on its online survey panels in English. This poll is based on a sample of 1,018 general population adults age 18 or older, weighted on age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, and location to be nationally representative.
- The margin of sampling error is ±3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.
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