America

CNN Poll: Close To 4 In 10 Southerners Would Side With Confederacy

Confederate re-enactors ready a giant Civil War cannon April 9, 2011 at Fort Moultrie in Charleston, S.C. i i

Confederate re-enactors ready a giant Civil War cannon April 9, 2011 at Fort Moultrie in Charleston, S.C. Richard Ellis/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Ellis/Getty Images
Confederate re-enactors ready a giant Civil War cannon April 9, 2011 at Fort Moultrie in Charleston, S.C.

Confederate re-enactors ready a giant Civil War cannon April 9, 2011 at Fort Moultrie in Charleston, S.C.

Richard Ellis/Getty Images

As Mark noted earlier, 150 years ago today, the first shots were fire at South Carolina's Fort Sumter. It marked the beginning of the Civil War, which left more than 600,000 soldiers dead.

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released today shows that even after all those years, the country is still very much divided on how it sees the war.

A little less than a quarter of the survey's respondents said they "sympathized" more with the Confederacy than with the Union. In the South, that number goes up to 38 percent.

The poll also asked people whether they thought the issue of slavery was the main reason Southern states seceded from the United States. 42 percent of respondents said it was not the main reason. 54 percent said it was. That number didn't change significantly between Northerners and Southerners, but there was a significant shift between political affiliations. 45 percent of those who identified themselves as Republicans said slavery was the main reason for secession, while 65 percent of Democrats answered the same way. The white/non-white division was equally pronounced: Half of the white respondents said slavery was the main reason, while 66 percent of the non-white respondents said the same.

CNN adds:

"The results of that question show that there are still racial, political and geographic divisions over the Civil War that still exists a century and a half later," CNN Polling Director Holland Keating said.

The poll was conducted by phone on April 9 and 10, using a representative sample of 824 adult Americans. The sampling error is of 3.5 percentage points.

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