More than 40% of Americans think a civil war is likely within a decade

More than 40% of Americans believe that a civil war could start in the United States during the next decade. This concern resurfaces in a particularly divisive and violent national political context.

More than half of the strongest Republicans are convinced of this. In a survey of 1,500 American adults between Saturday August 20 and Tuesday August 23 by The Economist and YouGov, more than 40% of respondents said they feared a civil war in their country within the next ten years.

In detail, 14% of respondents are certain of a civil war to come in the next decade in the United States, while 29% of respondents say they are rather certain. In total, 43% of Americans surveyed said that a civil war on their soil in the next ten years was likely.

This division is even more marked among Republicans since 21% of them declared to be convinced of this and 33% to be somewhat convinced of this, ie a total proportion of 53% of them who consider this hypothesis plausible.

Increased political divisions

According to the survey, 66% of respondents said that political divisions have increased in the United States in 2021 and 63% of them predicted an increase in these political differences in the years to come. In the same vein, 65% believe that political violence has gained ground last year on American soil. Violence that should increase in the coming years for 62% of those questioned.

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If a large-scale armed conflict on American territory remains unlikely for specialists, it nevertheless remains possible. “Countries with democracies and governments as strong as the United States do not fall into civil war. But if our institutions weaken, the story could be different,” said Rachel Kleinfeld, civil conflict specialist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, for The Guardian.

This Sunday, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, for example, predicted “riots in the streets” if former President Donald Trump was indicted for keeping classified documents after leaving office.

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