Half Of Republicans Believe False Accounts Of Capitol Riot, Survey Finds
A new poll has revealed that approximately half of Republicans believe false accounts of the insurrection that took place at the US Capitol on January 6.
Details of the events were spread far and wide after Donald Trump supporters protested his election loss in Washington DC, with factual accounts explaining how rioters marched to the Capitol building after a speech from the then-president and proceeded to force their way into the building.
Though accurate documentation of the events is not hard to find, either through trusted, unbiased news sources or footage taken from the scene, many members of Trump’s political party have come to believe an inaccurate version of events, some of which were pushed by the former president and his allies.
According to a new poll conducted last month by Reuters/Ipsos, roughly half of Republicans believe the insurrection was largely a non-violent protest, or was the handiwork of left-wing activists ‘trying to make Trump look bad’.
What’s more, six in 10 also believe the 2020 presidential election really was ‘stolen’ from Trump due to voter fraud; a claim the losing candidate pushed multiple times since Joe Biden was announced as the country’s new leader. The same proportion of Republicans believe Trump should run for president again in 2024.
The January 6 riots resulted in the evacuation of the Capitol building, a total of five deaths and numerous other injuries. In spite of this, Trump claimed rioters posed ‘zero threat’ in a recent interview with Fox News, cited by Reuters.
Last month, a dozen Republicans in the House of Representatives voted against a resolution honouring Capitol Police officers who defended the building during the riots, with one of the lawmakers objecting to the use of the word ‘insurrection’ to describe the incident.
Other members of the GOP, such as Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, have expressed doubt that Trump supporters were behind the riot; a belief seemingly shared by many Republicans as only three in 10 say the former president bears some responsibility for the attack.
Among all Americans, 59% say Trump bears some responsibility, while eight in 10 Democrats and six in 10 independents reject claims that the Capitol siege was ‘mostly peaceful’ or staged by left-wing protestors.
Furthermore, 60% of all Americans believe Biden fairly won the November election, and that Trump should not run again.
John Geer, an expert on public opinion at Vanderbilt University, claimed that ‘Republicans have their own version of reality’.
He continued: ‘It is a huge problem. Democracy requires accountability and accountability requires evidence.’
Experts have warned that attempts to downplay the January 6 events increase the likelihood of a similar situation happening again, and reflect a growing consensus within the Republican party that it should remain tethered to Trump.
The poll revealed that Trump remains the most popular figure within the GOP, with eight in 10 Republicans still holding a favourable impression of him while only about three in 10 independents said the same.
The findings are based on responses from 1,005 adults based across the US and has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 4 percentage points.
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