If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


17% Would Vote to Secede and Form New State

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Some residents in Maryland, California, Michigan and Colorado are looking to secede from their respective states, and nearly one-out-of-five Americans think that's a good idea. 

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 17% of American Adults say they would vote for their section of their state to secede and form a new state. Seventy percent (70%) would vote to keep things the way they are, but another 13% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Just 22% believe sections of individual states have the right to secede and form a new state. Fifty-five percent (55%) disagree, but a sizable 23% are not sure.

Only 24% think it is at least somewhat likely that some states will break up into more than one state over the next 25 years, with nine percent (9%) who feel it is Very Likely.  Sixty-eight (68%) believe such breakups are unlikely to occur, including 28% who say they're Not At All Likely.

On a broader scale, 21% think states have the right to leave the United States and form an independent country.  Fifty-nine percent (59%) don’t think states have the right to secede. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided.  The number of Americans who feel states have the right to secede is down slightly from 24% in June 2012 but is up from 14% in February 2010

Eleven percent (11%) favored their state seceding from the United States in April 2009.

Special offer: A Rasmussen Reader subscription that lasts through December 31, 2014 is now just $24.95. Sign up today!

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on September 23-24, 2013 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.

Twenty-five percent (25%) of both Republicans and adults not affiliated with either major political party think sections of states have the right to secede and form new states. Just 15% of Democrats agree. The findings are nearly identical on the question of secession from the union. 

Republicans and unaffiliateds are also more likely to say they would vote to form a new state. 

Thirty-four percent (34%) of Republicans think some states are likely to break up in the next 25 years or so, a view shared by just 15% of Democrats and 24% of unaffiliated Americans.

Americans who support secession are much more inclined to believe it is likely to occur in the next 25 years or so, compared to those who are opposed to it.

Most Americans continue to believe politicians want more power and money for the government while their fellow citizens want the opposite

Only 17% of voters believe the federal government today has the consent of the governed.  Perhaps that helps explain why Americans continue to trust local government more than federal and state governments.

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

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.