One-in-five Americans believe individual states have the right to break away from the country, although a majority doesn’t believe it will actually happen.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 21% of American Adults think individual states have the right to leave the United States and form an independent country. Most (64%) believe states do not have this right, while 14% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Belief in the right of individual states to secede has been creeping up from February 2010 when only 14% agreed. In June of last year, 18% said states have this right.
However, only 29% of adults feel it’s at least somewhat likely that some states will try to leave the United States over the next 25 years or so. This finding includes 13% who believe it's Very Likely. But 62% say it is not very or not at all likely that some states will secede from the union. These findings are nearly identical to those found last year.
Just 19% believe it’s at least somewhat likely that the United States will split up into regional groups of states in the next 25 or so years, down from 23% a year ago. Seventy percent (70%) say this outcome is not likely. These results include eight percent (8%) who believe it is Very Likely the country will break up into regional groups and 27% who say it is Not At All Likely to happen.
Seventy-three percent (73%) think it would be bad if the United States split up into regional groups of states. Just eight percent (8%) feel that would be a good thing, while 19% more are not sure.
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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on May 30-31, 2011 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.
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