The Party of Dissolution


I missed this poll when it came out last month year:

One in five American adults—22%—believe that any state or region has the right to "peaceably secede from the United States and become an independent republic," a new Middlebury Institute/Zogby International telephone poll shows….

[B]acking was strongest among younger adults, as 40% among those age 18 to 24 and 24% among those age 25 to 34 agreed states and regions have secession rights.

Broken down by race, the highest percentage agreeing with the right to secede was among Hispanics (43%) and African-Americans (40%). Among white respondents, 17% said states or regions should have the right to peaceably secede.

Politically, liberal thinkers were much more likely to favor the right to secession for states and regions, as 32% of mainline liberals agreed with the concept. Among the very liberal the support was only slightly less enthusiastic—28% said they favored such a right. Meanwhile, just 17% of mainline conservatives thought it should exist as an option for states or regions of the nation.

Asked whether they would support a secessionist movement in their own state, 18% said they would, with those in the South most likely to say they would back such an effort.

It's Zogby, so caveat lector, but still…those numbers are rather higher than I would have guessed. Also notable: A full 44 percent of the respondents agreed that "the United States' system is broken and cannot be fixed by traditional two-party politics and elections."

Update: Stupid me, I misread the date—the poll is from July 2008, not July 2009. I suspect the liberal secessionists are less eager to exit the union today. That's not to say the appeal of secession has declined for everyone, though: For a more recent Zogby survey on the subject, go here.