By CASEY HARPER
THE CENTER SQUARE SENIOR REPORTER
(The Center Square) — Political tensions have ramped up year after year, and now nearly half the country thinks a civil war could happen in the U.S. in the next decade.
Newly released polling data from YouGov and The Economist show that “two in five Americans believe a civil war is at least somewhat likely in the next decade.”
Only 35% of those surveyed said it was not likely or not “very likely.”
“What is the likelihood that political violence will culminate in a civil war in the U.S.? While only 14% of Americans say a civil war is very likely in the next decade, 43% say it is at least somewhat likely,” YouGov said. “About one in three – 35% – say it is not very or at all likely, and 22% are unsure. People who say they are ‘strong Republicans’ are the political group most likely to anticipate a civil war: 21% say it’s very likely, compared to less than 15% of each of the other four political groups studied.”
According to the poll, Americans don’t expect the situation to improve.
“Two-thirds of Americans (66%) believe that political divisions in this country have gotten worse since the beginning of 2021, compared to only 8% who say the country has grown less divided,” YouGov said. “Few see things improving in the coming years: 62% expect an increase in political divisions.”
They also expect an increase in political violence.
“A similar share (63%) to the proportion who say political divisions have worsened (66%) say political violence has increased since the start of 2021,” YouGov said. “Three in five Americans (60%) anticipate an increase in political violence in the next few years and only 9% expect political violence to decline.”
The FBI raid of former president Donald Trump is the latest incident to weaken confidence in national institutions.
Rasmussen Reports released polling data earlier this month that reported that 44% of surveyed Americans say the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago made them trust the FBI less.
“Last week’s raid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on former President Donald Trump’s home has damaged the FBI’s standing with Republican and independent voters,” Rasmussen said, as The Center Square previously reported. “A new national telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports finds that 44% of likely U.S. voters say the FBI raid on Trump’s Florida home made them trust the FBI less, compared to 29% who say it made them trust the bureau more. Twenty-three percent say the Trump raid did not make much difference in their trust of the FBI.”
Casey Harper works at The Center Square’s Washington, D.C., bureau.