How bad is the tension getting out there on the streets these days in the midst of all of the unrest, protests and rioting? According to a new survey from Rasmussen Reports, more than one-third of likely voters in America believe that a second civil war is likely within in the next five years. As depressing as that may sound, it’s an uptick from people who felt that way in recent years. And unsurprisingly, there are marked differences in the crosstabs as to who is more likely to feel that away along both party affiliation and racial lines. Considering how the first one went, I kind of hope that nobody is really seeing this as a good thing, even if you feel it looks inevitable. (Rasmussen Reports)

With race-driven anti-police protests nationwide, one-in-three voters continue to believe America is on the brink of another civil war. Blacks are the least optimistic that the protests will lead to positive change but the most supportive of removing Confederate symbols from public display.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 34% of Likely U.S. Voters think the United States will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years, but that includes only nine percent (9%) who say it’s Very Likely. This compares to 31% and 11% respectively two years ago…

As recently as last November, 73% of American Adults said Americans should be proud of the history of the United States. But 32% of Democrats share New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s view that “we’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great.”

In something of a positive note, while more than a third think another civil war is “likely,” in the next five years, only 9% said it was “very likely.” Still, 25% said it was somewhat likely, which should be worrisome.

The breakdowns by demographics might tell you a bit more about this trend. Republicans and independents were more likely to foresee a war at 40% and 38% respectively. Only 28% of Democrats felt the same. This is pretty much a reversal from the same poll taken in 2018.

The other big issue also showing a major shift is the removal of Confederate statues and monuments. 39% said that such tearing down of our history will help race relations. 27% disagreed. This is yet again almost an exact flip from two years ago. Those numbers very nearly mirror the percentage of likely voters who feel that the current unrest and protests over the death of George Floyd will bring about meaningful change in race relations. 37% agree with that statement while 31% disagree.

Hoping that this all remains hypothetical, there’s one pressing question that this survey seems to demand we answer. In 2020, what would a civil war look like? In the original battle, while there was obviously not 100% buy-in in any state on either side of the Mason-Dixon Line, there was at least a demarcation of territory. There were northern states and southern states and people knew where the lines were drawn. There were proper uniforms and actual battles.

That’s not how the country is divided at the moment, as the Rasmussen survey clearly indicates. Even localized fighting wouldn’t break down by race or any other demographic. You see plenty of white people marching with the BLM protesters. And as much as the media tries to deny it, there really are Black conservatives out there and others who may want to see more police accountability but who are distressed by the rioting and destruction.

Entire states aren’t going to be seceding from the nation. A worst-case scenario would probably involve cities and counties erupting into actual violent, armed confrontations. If the looting and rioting move from the business centers into residential areas, I could definitely envision an armed response meeting them and bloodshed taking place. But the government would be forced to deploy law enforcement (and probably the military) to halt the fighting and stop the armed combatants. It would be a bloody mess to be sure, but it wouldn’t be an effort to split off a new nation. That’s just not how America is built in the 21st century.