New poll reflects desperate attitudes of a polarized, pessimistic nation that envisions looming Civil War

The United States is on the precipice of some truly catastrophic events according to new polling that found a full 37% of Americans believe a civil war is at least somewhat likely to break out in the next ten years.

The Economist and YouGov asked participants to consider 15 future scenarios involving instability or political violence in the next decade and found that half of Americans believe that end of the United States’ status as a global superpower is the most likely to occur. Nearly as many — 47% — believe a total collapse of the U.S. economy will lead to violence.

“We arrived at the list of 15 scenarios with a follow-up question to the Economist finding on a separate poll, asking people who earlier in the poll said they think a civil war is likely to tell us in their own words what they think it means for the country to engage in one,” YouGov explains. “Based on responses to this question, we developed the list of 15 specific future scenarios and included it in another poll asking how likely each is to occur in the coming years.”

The results are stunning and illustrate just how concerned Americans truly are for the survival of the nation.

If asked if a civil war is likely in the next ten years without specifying the catalyst, 40% answered that it is “likely” or “very likely.”

Thirty-two percent of Americans believe it will be red states versus blue states, while 30% predicted it would be a war between the rich and the poor and another 29% believe it will be a race war. Another 20% think country folk and city dwellers will duke it out.

And here’s an unsettling thought: Thirty-nine percent of Americans think democracy will indeed die in the next decade, with 31% predicting the United States will turn into a fascist dictatorship and 21% believing we will become a communist dictatorship.

“The poll didn’t ask whether people believe a given scenario has already occurred,” YouGov notes, “so some people who believe this probably are included among those who said each scenario is likely.”

Not surprisingly given the recent attacks against MAGA supporters by the president, Republicans have a darker view of America’s near future than Democrats.

Sixty-five percent of Republicans think it’s at least somewhat likely that total economic collapse is on the horizon; 48% think it’s likely that the government will seize its citizens’ guns; a whopping 49% believe law and order will completely break down; and 41% think the U.S. will be invaded by another country compared to 38%, 17%, 31%, and 24% of Democrats, respectively.

Interestingly, more Democrats (37%) than Republicans (32%) believe America will go fascist, while 31% of Republicans think we’ll turn communist, compared to 13% of Democrats. It is unclear if those polled truly have an understanding of the two forms of governing or if the phrases have been thrown around so often by so many on both sides of the political aisle that they have essentially lost all historical meaning.

More Americans polled declared they are concerned about “Christian extremism” (31%) than they are Muslim extremism (29%) — a shocking statistic to digest, especially as the nation remembers the 9/11 attacks that killed thousands 21 years ago.

When it comes to which side would prevail in a war between the United States government and armed civilians, 51% think the military and law enforcement would emerge victorious.

So, is civil war inevitable in such a divided America?

Well, if there is one glimmer of hope to be found in the poll it is this: In equal measures, both Republicans and Democrats — 69% of all Americans — believe war within the next ten years would be “a bad thing.”

Let’s pray that, if nothing else, we can unite around that.


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Melissa Fine


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