That's according to a new CNN poll released on the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, when Union soldiers raised a U.S. flag over Fort Sumter in South Carolina and the opening shots of the war rang out. The poll's results reveal that the war that divided the nation for four years still divides American public opinion today.
In the South, 38 percent of respondents said they sympathize with the Confederacy, which lost the bloody war. More than 600,000 American soldiers on both sides were killed. Overall, the number from all geographic areas who said they still side with the South is less than a quarter.
Sixty-five percent of respondents who described themselves as Democrats said they believe the Civil War was fought over slavery, while 45 percent of Republicans said so. The belief was strongest among nonwhite Americans as well. Some 66 percent of nonwhite respondents said they believe slavery was the main reason for the war, while about half of white people thought so.
The poll also examined whether the responses of tea party supporters were different from those of Americans who described themselves as opposed to the grass-roots conservative movement, or those who said they were neutral to it.
The poll was conducted by CNN and the Opinion Research Corp. Pollsters surveyed 824 adult Americans by phone between April 9 and 10. The poll's overall margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, though the sampling errors were slightly higher for some questions.