Jul 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Jan. 6 committee has done little to sway Republicans: Poll

The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S Capitol in Washington, D.C., meets on July 21. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot has held a series of hearings with revealing testimony and new evidence, but one group of Americans is unmoved by its findings: Republicans.

Driving the news: While four out of five Democrats and a majority of independents report following the hearings, fewer Republicans — 44% — say they are paying attention to the investigation, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour Marist poll released this week.

By the numbers: After a series of high-profile hearings over the last couple of months, the survey found that there has been little change in how Republicans view the Capitol riot and former President Trump's role in it.

  • Two out of five Republicans say what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, was a protest protected by the First Amendment, per the poll.
  • Since December, the percentage of Republicans who call Jan. 6 an insurrection and a threat to democracy increased from 10% to 12% — a shift smaller than the margin of error of the survey.
  • Fewer than one in five Republicans say Trump deserves a great or good deal of blame for what happened that day, compared with nine out of 10 Democrats and 57% of independents, according to the poll.

What they're saying: It may be too soon to say how the hearings affect public opinion of Trump, or his chances if he ultimately runs for president again in 2024, said Robert Collins, a professor of urban studies and public policy at Dillard University, VOA reports.

  • “I see a lot of people looking at polls, not seeing much change, and assuming these hearings are having no effect on Trump’s popularity,” Collins told VOA. “But that’s not how human psychology works. Our minds change slowly and only when we’re exposed to frequent and repeated evidence of something.”

Methodology: The poll of 1,160 adults was conducted July 11- 17. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1%.

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