Most Americans do not want a national divorce of red and blue states

Linley SandersData Journalist
March 10, 2023, 1:50 PM GMT+0

Republican House Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene suggested on Twitter that the United States should have a “national divorce” that separates red states from blue states.

That idea of splitting the country by which party controls each state's government does not get a lot of support in the latest Economist/YouGov poll: Majorities of Democrats (69%) and Republicans (60%) disagree with Greene's suggestion.

Three in 10 Americans have a very or somewhat favorable opinion of Greene, a House member from Georgia. But even this group is divided on her statement: 44% agree with it strongly or somewhat while 44% disagree. Half of Americans (50%) who view Greene "very favorably" agree with her while 39% disagree.

It's unclear how Greene's secession suggestion would be implemented, but majorities of Democrats and Republicans say they would vote against their own state seceding from the U.S. if given that option. One in four Republicans and 16% of Democrats would support their state’s secession.

Many Americans, though not a majority, say states do not have a right to secede from the country. About one-third (31%) believe there is such a right while 43% say there is no such right. Republicans and Independents are closely divided on this, while most Democrats reject the right to secession: 22% say there is such a right and 55% say there is not.

Half of Democrats (49%) also say that they think of people who want their state to secede from the U.S. as "mostly traitors," compared to 26% of Republicans.

This question was originally asked by CBS News in 2013, and was accessed by YouGov using the Roper Center Polling Archive. In the 2013 poll, 34% of Americans said people who want to secede are mostly patriots, much higher than the 18% that the Economist/YouGov poll found a decade later. One-third of Americans (33%) say that they are "mostly traitors," a similar share (31%) to the 2013 poll.

— Carl Bialik and Taylor Orth contributed to this article

See the toplines and crosstabs from the Economist/YouGov poll conducted on March 4 - 7, 2023 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens.

Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to June 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (34% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.

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