How Many People Support Secession?

How many people support secession? Perhaps you think secession is just something that those rowdy Texans want. (Note: we fully support our Texan brothers’ efforts to regain their independence!). Or southern boys flying a Confederate flag. Or our French-speaking neighbors to the north (bonjour, Quebecois!) If you think they’re the only ones… think again!

Multiple sources indicate that more than a third of Americans, on both the left and the right, support secession.

National polling results released by Bright Line Watch in July 2021 included the following:

…Secession support in the Northeast (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia) was 34%

Bright Line Watch conducted the poll between June 26-July 2, 2021 in conjunction with polling firm YouGov. The poll surveyed 2,750 adults (nationally).

The Bright Line Watch report was titled Still miles apart: Americans and the state of U.S. democracy half a year into the Biden presidency. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the deep-seated dissatisfaction that Americans all over the country have with the Federal government.

The results were not what the authors had been expecting.

“…we anticipated, political tempers may have cooled — not necessarily as a result of any great reconciliation but perhaps from sheer exhaustion after the relentless drama of Trump.”

“Yet rather than support for secession diminishing over the past six months, as we expected, it rose in every region and among nearly every partisan group…. Among Democrats in the West, a near-majority of 47% (up 6 points) supports a schism, as do 39% (up 5 points) in Northeast.”

Bright Line Watch map of U.S. support for secession

Support for Secession in New Hampshire

In the summer of 2016, the Union Leader hosted an online poll. It asked the question “How would you vote if NH had a referendum on seceding from the United States? Out of 2407 votes cast, 42% voted “for a free NH”, while 56% voted to “remain a U.S. state”. 2% voted “Ambivalent”. The Union Leader is generally considered to have a right-leaning bias.

In March 2022, CACR32, a state constitutional amendment was put forward by Rep. Michael Sylvia (R, Belmont), along with six co-sponsors. It would have given Granite Staters the ability to vote on whether or not New Hampshire should become independent. The amendment proposed the following:

That the wording of the question put to the qualified voters shall be:
“Are you in favor of amending the first part of the constitution by inserting after article 7 a new article to read as follows:
[Art.] 7-a. [Independent Nation.] New Hampshire peaceably declares independence from the United States and immediately proceeds as a sovereign nation. All other references to the United States in this constitution, state statutes and regulations are nullified.”
The amendment would have required 2/3 of New Hampshire voters to vote for it in order to take effect.

New Hampshire CACR32

The state House of Representatives soundly rejected the proposed amendment. This is unfortunate, as it would have provided a clearer picture of how New Hampshire voters feel on this important topic. Note that, of citizens who took the time to attend the public committee hearing and voice an opinion, 25 said they were in favor while only two were opposed. The full three hours of public testimony can be viewed online.

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