Poll: One-Third of Americans, Nearly Half of Black People Think We’re Headed for Another Civil War

Illustration for article titled Poll: One-Third of Americans, Nearly Half of Black People Think We’re Headed for Another Civil War
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If there’s one thing the Trump presidency has shown us (besides the fact that white male mediocrity continues to win), it’s that what was once cloaked in darkness will come to light.


To be specific: The country’s basest, most vile and selfish instincts are now front and center, and though there are many opposed to what is currently happening as a result of the policies of this administration—including children being snatched from their parents, Muslims being banned for their religion, and vicious lies that continue to be spread unchecked via the office of the president—there are many, many more standing idly by and passively going with the flow.


Stark polarization in the country is nothing new (urban vs. rural, conservative vs. liberal, Fox vs. MSNBC, whites vs. everyone else), but through his words and actions, Trump seems to have brought out a particular venom. As a result, much of the country is increasingly fearful that political violence is coming.

According to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey, 31 percent of likely U.S. voters say it’s likely that the United States will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years. (To see survey-question wording, click here.)

Specifically, 11 percent of respondents say it’s “very likely,” while 59 percent consider a second civil war “unlikely”—but that includes only 29 percent who say it’s “not at all likely.”

A further breakdown reveals that 44 percent of African Americans think a civil war will break out within five years, compared with 28 percent of white Americans and 36 percent of other nonwhite voters. Whites are also less concerned about political violence than the others are.


Women and those under 40 are also more worried about a possible civil war than are men and older voters.

Democrats (37 percent) are more fearful that a second civil war is at hand than Republicans (32 percent) and voters not affiliated with either major party (26%).


This is nothing new, and apparently, folks white men have been in fear of this since big, black Obama was in office—hence the uptick in guns purchased after each of his elections (allegedly because he was going to restrict gun sales).


According to this most recent poll, 59 percent of all voters are “concerned” that those opposed to Trump’s policies will resort to violence, with one-third “very concerned.” This compares with 53 percent and 28 percent, respectively, in the spring of Obama’s second year in office.

Although this is just a sample of 1,000 “likely voters,” there are some sobering stats:

Forty-two percent of all voters say that the country is headed in the right direction, and just 40 percent think that America would be better off today if Hillary Clinton had been elected president in 2016.  


Fifty-one percent of voters also agree with Matt Flynn, the Democratic Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate, who said last week that his party is “pickled in identity politics and victimology.”

This can’t be good.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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Truth is, we are in a soft civil war right now. One side is fighting with denying cheese plates and hurtful words on the Tony Awards. The other side is shooting up newsrooms.

I’m not saying we should start shooting, but I think we need to acknowledge the truth.