A second Civil War is looming, according to a third of Americans surveyed in a new poll.
A survey by Rasmussen Reports found that 34 percent of likely U.S. voters think a second Civil War is coming in the next five years.
Rasmussen asked the same question two years ago and found that 31 percent of those surveyed thought a second Civil War was likely.
In the latest poll, 9 percent of voters said a second Civil War is very likely. Two years ago, 11 percent thought such a conflict was very likely.
The new poll found that 40 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of Democrats and 38 percent of non-aligned voters expect that a second Civil War will become a reality.
The poll found wide disparity in how respondents see the removal of Confederate symbols.
Although 39 percent of those responding said removing Confederate symbols will help race relations, 27 percent said it would hurt, and 28 percent thought there would be no impact.
When Rasmussen asked the question in 2017, it found that 28 percent said removing Confederate symbols would be good for race relations while 39 percent said it would hurt.
Fault lines of race and political philosophy separate Americans, the new poll found
The survey found that 54 percent of black respondents said ridding the nation of Confederate symbols would help race relations, a view shared by only 36 percent of whites.
Democrats were far more bullish than anyone on wiping away the Confederacy’s legacy, the poll found. Sixty-four percent of Democrats said getting rid of Confederate symbols would help race relations, but only 19 percent of Republicans felt that way.
The new survey also found that 50 percent of Americans who think trying to erase the Confederacy from view would hurt race relations believe Civil War is likely within the next five years.
As for the protests gripping the nation since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month, 37 percent of poll respondents say those protests will lead to long-term change in relation to racism, while 31 percent disagree and 32 percent aren’t sure.
However, only 29 percent of black Americans surveyed said they expect such a change from the current protests.
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Rasmussen conducted the survey of 1,000 likely voters between June 11 and June 14. The survey has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Debating Confederate symbols is a big issue for Williamson County in Tennessee, where the battlefield of the 1864 Battle of Franklin is located and where the Confederate flag is on the county seal.
Resident Robert Blythe said he is opposed to removing the symbols.
“As a father with two young girls, I want them to grow up to love history and show appreciation for history and the past — good and bad — so you can understand it,” he told the Williamson Herald. “When you start sanitizing everything … you lose a lot by doing that.”
“My point is, where does it end?” Blythe added. “If people cave and try to appease, it’ll never work because … if somebody in the past was wrong, it’ll never end because everybody is imperfect, including the people that came before us. So, instead of learning from the past, we’re trying to sanitize everything, and I don’t think that’s a good thing at all.”
District 9 Commissioner Chas Morton feels differently.
“While the flag of the Confederacy has a place, it is not on the seal that represents all of Williamson County,” he told the Herald. “I have received emails from residents with strong feelings about keeping the seal as it is, but I simply cannot support or condone this as the representation of Williamson County’s history on its seal.”