JULY 21, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republican views on Donald Trump have darkened somewhat over six weeks of televised congressional hearings on the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by the former president’s supporters, a Reuters/Ipsos poll completed on Thursday showed.
The two-day poll, finished hours before a scheduled eighth hearing of the congressional probe, showed that 40% percent of Republicans now believe Trump is at least partly to blame for the deadly riot, up from 33% in a poll conducted six weeks ago.
Trump continues to have widespread support in the Republican Party and regularly hints he will run for president again in 2024.
But six weeks of televised hearings have focused on the former leader’s pressure on his vice president to help overturn his election defeat, as well as Trump’s dismissal of close advisers questioning his false allegations of massive voter fraud.
Now, one third of Republican respondents think Trump should not run for president again in 2024, up from a quarter who held that view in early June when the bipartisan congressional probe began broadcasting hearings.
Most respondents in the poll said they had followed the hearings at least a little, with only one in four saying they didn’t hear anything about them.
Thursday’s hearing will focus on the hours following a Trump speech in which he told supporters to “fight like hell” before they attacked the Capitol and tried to stop the formal certification of his loss in the 2020 presidential election.
The panel has used the hearings to build a case that Trump’s efforts to overturn his defeat by Democrat Joe Biden constitute illegal conduct.
Reuters/Ipsos polling still shows many Republicans hold views at odds with the facts uncovered by congressional and criminal probes.
In the latest poll, a majority of Republicans – or 55% – continue to believe the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.
While that share is down from 67% in early June, the view has remained prevalent even after state and federal judges dismissed more than 50 lawsuits brought by Trump and his allies challenging the election. Reviews and audits similarly found no evidence of widespread fraud.
Some 57% of Republican respondents said they believed most of the protesters at the Jan. 6 riot were peaceful and law-abiding, a share essentially unchanged from early June. Four people died on the day of the attack, at least 140 police were assaulted, and one Capitol Police officer who fought against the rioters died the next day.
More than half of Republicans polled continue to believe the riot was led by left-wing protesters, even though nearly all of the hundreds of people arrested following the attack have been Trump supporters, according to U.S. prosecutors. FBI Director Christopher Wray has said there was no evidence leftist extremists disguised themselves as Trump supporters during the attack.
The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,005 adults between June 20-21. The poll has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 4 percentage points.