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ED Show
updated 11/14/2012 4:21:30 PM ET 2012-11-14T21:21:30

Citizens representing 37 states from Alaska to Florida have filed petitions on the White House “We The People” website seeking to secede from the United States and form new governments.

The secession movement is picking up steam.  Citizens representing 40 states from Alaska to Florida have filed petitions on the White House “We The People” website, seeking to secede from the United States and form new governments.

Under the “We The People” program launched last year, the White House promises to respond to any petition that receives 25,000 or more signatures within 30 days.

At least four states have qualified, including Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

Other states that are attempting to qualify include Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Arizona, Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, Oklahoma, New York, Oregon, New Jersey, Montana, Georgia, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, California, Nevada, Ohio, Delaware, Wyoming, Utah, Alaska, Kansas, Nebraska, West Virginia, South Dakota, Virginia, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Illinois, New Hampshire and Idaho.

With more than 78,000 signatures so far, Texas is leading the way. But even Gov. Rick Perry, who warmed up to secession talk three years ago, now wants to cool it.

“Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it,” Perry spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said in a statement. “But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government. Now more than ever our country needs strong leadership from states like Texas.”

Looking at electoral maps since the late 1960s to the early 1970s, some progressives might not mind seeing some of these states go on their merry way. There’s even a petition up on the “We The People” site that calls for the U.S. to “Strip the Citizenship from Everyone who Signed a Petition to Secede and Exile Them.”

But stop a minute before you embrace this idea!

Texas, for example, is likely to turn purple before too long, making the path to 270 electoral votes easier for Democrats. A mathematical analysis of demographic trends and voting results by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News finds that if current population and electoral participation trends continue, the Lone Star state will become a true presidential election swing state by 2020 or 2024.

Folks, that’s just two or three presidential elections away.

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz discussed the secession issue on Tuesday’s edition of The Ed Show at 8 p.m. ET on MSNBC with Jim Moore, co-author of “Bush’s Brain,” MSNBC and Huffington Post contributor. (See video.)

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