Could the U.S. Really Break Apart? Survey Shows Many Americans Support the Idea Amid Political Division

America is extremely divided politically right now, causing some to wonder if the country could literally break apart into different sections. 

One survey found that more people actually support that idea with 29 percent saying they encourage the concept of dissolving the country into like-minded regions.

According to a poll from the political science research project, “Bright Line Watch,” researchers wrote, “secession is a genuinely radical proposition.”

“Until recently, we would have regarded it as too marginal to include in a survey,” the researchers said. “But state legislators in Mississippi and Texas and state GOP leaders in Texas and Wyoming have openly advocated secession in recent months.”

In the survey, the idea of breaking up the U.S. into regions was supported by 35 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of Democrats, and 37 percent of Independents.

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Voters Support New COVID Relief Bill

The survey also revealed voters in both major parties support the proposal of a new COVID-19 relief bill.

Overall, Americans would like to see another distribution of stimulus checks to offset the financial crisis felt by the economy due to COVID restrictions. Researchers studied how Americans view a politician who advocates $500 billion in pandemic relief compared to one who objects to it. 

Republican voters chose the politician who supports COVID relief funds by 11 points, Independents by 12 points, and Democrats by 18 points.

“We’ve seen Democrats and Republicans in Congress at times compete to provide more generous offers of aid and assistance,” said Bright Line Watch co-founder Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth College. “The public seems to largely agree that the government should provide more help given the economic circumstances Americans currently face.”

Even though the majority of Americans agree on stimulus checks during the pandemic, facts related to the 2020 presidential election and former President Donald Trump’s impeachment divides voters. 

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Bright Line Watch researchers discovered that only 22 percent of Republicans who were surveyed trust the outcome of the 2020 election results. That’s considerably lower than the 42 percent of Republican policy experts questioned by the survey.

“In a democracy people basically have to trust that the rules are fair and that if their party or their team loses, the stakes of that loss won’t be intolerable, that in the future they’ll be able to contest an election again, and that they’ll have a chance of winning,” explained Bright Line Watch co-founder Gretchen Helmke from the University of Rochester. 

“That keeps everyone committed to democracy and to playing by the rules. Once you break that faith – that elections actually determine who the winner is – people’s allegiance to democracy wanes,” she added.

Additionally, the researchers caution that people have likely not considered the idea of secession carefully enough, however, a clear minority of Americans don’t reject the idea outright.

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