More than 40% of Americans think civil war is likely to occur in next decade, poll finds

Half of Donald Trump supporters believe a civil war is coming

Two thirds of Americans believe that political divisions have worsened in the US since 2021. AFP
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A survey has found that two in five Americans think a civil war is at least somewhat likely to occur in the next decade — a figure that jumps to 50 per cent among supporters of Donald Trump — highlighting the country's stark political divisions as the midterm elections approach.

The poll, conducted by YouGov and The Economist, also found that two thirds of Americans believe that political divisions have worsened in the country since 2021.

Of those surveyed, 63 per cent said that divisions will widen further in the years to come.

A similar portion of Americans felt the same way about the rise of political violence. Sixty-five per cent of respondents think political violence has increased since last year and 62 per cent think it will worsen.

And many fear the escalating political violence will lead to a civil war, with 43 per cent saying it is “somewhat likely” and 14 per cent saying it is very likely in the next decade.

Fifty per cent of people who identified as “strong Republicans” think a civil war is likely to occur in the next decade, with 21 per cent saying it is “very likely”.

The poll comes as President Joe Biden ramps up his rhetoric against former president Donald Trump and his supporters before this year's congressional elections. Speaking at an event for Democratic donors last week, Mr Biden said the philosophies championed by Mr Trump's supporters are “like semi-fascism”.

Mr Biden has also increasingly linked the “Make America Great Again” slogan — or Maga — with extremism within the Republican Party. In recent months, he labelled Republican economic policies and the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v Wade as “extremist”.

He is scheduled to deliver a primetime address later this week on the “continued battle for the soul of the nation” in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the White House said.

Mr Biden is expected to lay out how America's democratic status is at stake and how citizens' freedoms and rights are at risk, NBC News reported, citing a White House official.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has, without evidence, claimed the Justice Department and FBI are “practising election interference” after agents conducted a court-authorised search of his Mar-a-Lago estate to retrieve stores of top secret and other classified documents.

Court documents show that the US government is currently investigating him for potential breach of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice.

Updated: August 30, 2022, 8:57 PM