Nearly 40% of Americans say a civil war is at least somewhat likely during the next 10 years, according to polling by The Economist and YouGov.
When asked about the chances of a civil war in the next decade, 37% said one is at least somewhat likely to occur, The Economist/YouGov survey found.
Exactly what a civil war might look like received different percentages on five specific scenarios. They were:
- 40% say civil war is likely between Republicans and Democrats.
- 32% say it is likely between red and blue states.
- 30% say it is likely between the rich and poor.
- 29% say it is likely between people of different races.
- 20% say it is likely between people living in cities and rural areas.
The poll presented 15 dire scenarios, each of which was considered somewhat or very likely in the next decade by at least 20% of respondents.
Half of the respondents were asked how likely each scenario is in the next 10 years, while the other half were asked about the next 50 years.
Half of each groups said the U.S. no longer will be a global superpower during the time frame given.
The next most likely occurrence among the scenarios was a total economic collapse in the U.S. A total of 47% said it is very or somewhat likely to happen in the next 10 years, and 48% said it would happen in the next 50 years.
The next most likely scenario was the U.S. will cease to be a democracy (39% saying this is likely within the next decade), followed by the likelihood the U.S. will suffer a total breakdown of law and order (37%).
Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say nearly all of the suggested dire scenarios are likely to happen within the next 10 years, the survey found.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of GOP respondents say that total economic collapse is at least somewhat likely, compared to only 38% of Democrats.
Almost half (48%) of Republicans say it is likely the government will confiscate citizens' firearms; only 17% of Democrats agreed.
Republicans also are more likely than Democrats to say there will be a total breakdown of law and order (49%-31%) and that the U.S. will be invaded by a foreign country (41%-24%).
Democrats (37%) are slightly more likely than Republicans (32%) to say the U.S. will be a fascist dictatorship in the next 10 years. However, GOP members (31%) are three times as likely as Democrats (13%) to say it will be a communist dictatorship.
The Economist and YouGov polled 1,000 American adult citizens Sept. 1-4. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
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