North America

1 in 4 Americans want independence from Washington: Poll


Amid the growing anger with Washington, nearly a quarter of Americans want their states to break away from the United States and become an independent country, a new poll has found.

The results of a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday show that 24 percent of Americans strongly support or tend to support the idea of their state separating from the union.

The survey, taken from August 23 through September 16, indicates that 53.3 percent of the 8,952 respondents strongly oppose or tend to oppose secessionist ideas.

Dissatisfaction with the long-running gridlock in Washington and anger with President Barack Obama’s handling of issues ranging from healthcare reform to the rise of ISIL terrorists has prompted many Americans to wonder if their states would be better off on their own.

“I don’t think it makes a whole lot of difference anymore which political party is running things. Nothing gets done,” said Roy Gustafson, 61, of Camden, South Carolina, who lives on disability payments. “The state would be better off handling things on its own.”

“I have totally, completely lost faith in the federal government, the people running it, whether Republican, Democrat, independent, whatever,” said Mark Denny, a 59-year-old retiree living outside Dallas, Texas on disability payments.

“Texas has everything we need. We have the manufacturing, we have the oil, and we don’t need them,” Denny said.

Experts say the recent Scottish vote for independence along with the falling public approval of the Obama administration is increasing interest in breaking away.

“It seems to have heated up, especially since the election of President Obama,” said Mordecai Lee, a professor of governmental affairs at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, who has studied secessionist movements.

According to a New York Times/CBS News poll released Tuesday, a majority of Americans now disapprove of Obama’s overall job as president.

At only 34 percent, the approval rating of Obama’s handling of foreign policy is a record low for him, the poll found. Also, the president’s approval rating on terrorism was 41 percent, which is not only his worst personally, but is significantly lower than President George W. Bush in 2006.

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