avatarGrant Piper


The State With The Strongest Support For Secession

Not Texas, California or New York

When the idea of modern secession from the United States is brought up, a few states usually jump to mind. The two most prominent states at the forefront of the small but growing secession movements are Texas and California. Both states are large and have massive economies and distinct cultural flavors. Both states have made recent pushes to put secession on the ballot as a referendum. The dual movements are known as Texit and Calexit, respectively. This has led many in these states to dream of a possible split from the United States — feasible or not.

Texas had 31% of its citizens (nearly a third) claim to support secession. California had a sizable 29% of its population claim to support secession. Those are the next two highest states after the surprise number one.

According to new data compiled by YouGov, Texas and California are not the states with the highest support for secession among their populations. Alaska is actually the state with the highest support for secession, according to recent polls. Alaska polled at a whopping 36% when asked about seceding. Alaska does not often make the headlines for secessionist or sedisionist leanings, but its citizens support secession for many of the same reasons Texans and Californians do. Alaska has a large independent economy, is geographically isolated from the lower 48 states, and has its own distinct culture.

Many Alaskans believe that they could stand on their own as an independent nation. While Alaska has abundant natural resources and a strong tourism appeal, its population would make it one of the smallest nations on Earth, slotted alongside countries like Bhutan and the Solomon Islands.

Alaskan Secession Movements

Alaska flag (Public domain)

While Alaska manages to stay out of the headlines when it comes to secession coverage, they are no stranger to secessionist movements. Alaska has a third party political movement focused entirely on Alaskan independence. The Alaskan Independence Party (AKIP) claims to be the largest secessionist party in the United States, with nearly 20,000 members. Their membership is reportedly on the rise.

In the early 2000s, an Anchorage man tried numerous times to amend the state constitution to allow him to put forward a referendum for secession. In each case, he was thwarted by the courts. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled in 2003 against a secessionist ballot, stating:

When the forty-nine star flag was first raised in Juneau, we Alaskans committed ourselves to that indestructible Union, for good or ill, in perpetuity.

While that was over twenty years ago, secessionist leanings in Alaska seem to be growing rather than diminishing.

How Does “Legal” Secession Work?

Modern secessionists follow a playbook that is very similar to the one used by secessionists of the 19th century. Secessionists do not advocate for violence or war, they seek to put the issue of secession on the ballot with the hopes of forcing the local government chamber to declare secession on behalf of the people. That is exactly what many of the Southern states did in the lead up to the Civil War. Most people don’t realize that South Carolina seceded from the Union in 1860, months before the first shots of the war were fired.

Unfortunately, any modern secessionist movement will face the same issues that South Carolinians faced in 1860. The federal government will never accept it. For proper legal secession to work, Congress would have to approve a state’s attempt to leave after it was passed by local governments. The chances of that ever happening are zero.

Despite the long odds, that hasn’t stopped some citizens from dreaming and working toward the elusive goal. AKIP in Alaska is just one of a number of secessionist movements in the US, including Texit and Calexit. Many separatist movements were given an injection of life after the British managed to divorce themselves from the European Union, another political gambit that many thought impossible.


The idea of an independent Alaska seems preposterous at first. However, a startling number of Alaskans claim to support it. Alaskans who support secession point to the fact that the rest of the US already ignores them and that they have enough natural resources and natural protections to stand on their own. Legal secession will likely never happen. The Civil War was a long, bloody struggle to deny states the right to secede. The outcome was deafeningly clear — secession is illegal and will never be supported by the Union.

The best that people can hope for is a special autonomous region where Alaskans are given higher than average levels of autonomy. Such tactics have been employed by European nations with similar areas with strong separatist leanings. However, due to the amount of federal land, resources, and military importance, Alaska will likely never be free from federal oversight and scrutiny.

In contrast, Connecticut had the lowest support for secession, with just 9% claiming to support the idea. That makes Alaskans four times as likely to support secession as Connecticut residents.


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