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41% of Republicans Say America Won’t Be Hurt If California Goes Solo

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Nearly one-third of all Americans – and even more Republicans - believe the United States would be better off or not impacted if California went its own way and became a separate country.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 18% of American Adults think it would be good for the country if California seceded from the union, while another 13% say California’s departure would have no impact. Most (60%) disagree, however, and believe it would be bad for America if California became a separate country. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Given California’s overwhelming support for Democrats in recent national elections, it’s no surprise that Republicans are more enthusiastic about the state’s secession: 25% think it would be good for the country if the Golden State left the union, while 16% say it would have no impact.

Only 15% of both Democrats and adults not affiliated with either major political party see California’s secession as good for America, while 10% and 14% of these adults respectively believe it would have no impact.

The so-called Calexit movement calling for California’s secession has gained momentum in the weeks following Republican Donald Trump’s election as president.

Twenty-one percent (21%) of all Americans continue to believe that individual states have the right to leave the United States and form independent countries. Sixty-one percent (61%) disagree, but 19% are undecided. This is generally consistent with surveys in recent years, but support for secession is up from a low of 14% in early 2010.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on February 26-27, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

In the fall of 2013, 17% of Americans said they would vote for their section of their state to secede and form a new state.

Republicans (24%) are also slightly more supportive of the right of individual states to secede and form independent countries than Democrats (19%) and unaffiliateds (20%) are.

Among Americans who support a state’s right to secede, 34% think it would be good for the country if California became a separate country, while 15% think it would have no impact. Only 14% of those who oppose secession in general see California’s departure as a good thing, while 11% say it would have no impact.

But most adults in nearly every demographic category believe it would be bad for the United States if California opted to become a separate nation.

Many Californians have been angered by Trump’s policies targeting illegal immigrants and his proposed cutting of federal funding for so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to enforce immigration law. Voters nationwide, however, support punitive action against sanctuary cities.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of all Americans said four years ago that they felt at least somewhat connected to the state they grew up in, including 43% who felt Very Connected. 

As recently as 2015, a plurality (47%) of voters felt the federal government has too much influence over state governments, and 54% thought states should have the right to opt out of federal government programs that they don’t agree with. Even more (61%) said states should have the right to opt out of federally mandated programs if the federal government doesn’t help pay for them.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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