Jan 7, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Poll: Many Americans expect election-related violence over future losses

The U.S. Capitol is reflected in the Capitol Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2022. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nearly a majority of U.S. adults believe there will be violence regarding future presidential election losses, new polling reveals.

Why it matters: Three years out from the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and only months away from the 2024 presidential election, over two-thirds of Americans feel that democracy is under threat.

By the numbers: 51% of respondents expect the losing side to accept their losses peacefully, according to a CBS/YouGov poll released Saturday.

  • However, 49% expect violence over those losses.

Meanwhile, 70% of respondents believe U.S. democracy is under threat, while 30% feel that democracy is secure.

  • This comes as 39% of respondents do not consider President Biden to be the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election, per the poll.
  • Yet, multiple probes and recounts of 2020 election votes have disproven claims of widespread election fraud.

Between the lines: 78% of respondents disapprove of the "actions taken by the people who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol" on Jan. 6.

  • That figure included 70% of Republicans, 82% of independents and 84% of Democrats.
  • The percentage of Republicans who strongly disapprove of those actions on Jan. 6 (32%) has dwindled nearly 20 points since January 2021, when that figure stood at 51%, according to the poll.

Over a third of respondents described the actions of "the people who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol" on Jan. 6 as "defending freedom."

  • 59% of Republicans felt this way as opposed to 28% of independents and 18% of Democrats.

Zoom out: Three years since the Jan. 6 riot, over 1,265 people have been charged with crimes related to Jan. 6, according to the U.S. attorney's office for D.C.

Methodology: The poll surveyed 2,157 U.S. adult residents between Jan. 3-5, 2024, and has a margin of error of ±2.8 points.

Go deeper: How Republicans have changed their tune on Jan. 6

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