Poll Shows Americans Growing Increasingly Sympathetic Towards January 6th Protestors

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The January 6 attack of the capitol is an event that many people have dubbed the “9/11 of the 2020’s.” It’s a day that has lived on in many Americans’ collective subconscious since it happened, and not just because it was impactful the day of. The events are continuing to unfold as many of the individuals who participated in the attack face justice in the federal court system.

Hundreds of Federal Charges

Hundreds of individuals who participated in the January 6 attack on the capitol have since been federally indicted on various charges. These charges range from jaywalking and loitering, all the way up to participating in a terror plot and insurrection.

Source: Kent Nishimura

Because there have been so many individuals who were charged, the event hasn’t left the news for more than a few days in the years since it happened. Updates are constantly being broadcasted about updates on criminal charges and new indictments and arrests, and it’s made it difficult for America to move on from the event as a country.

A Somewhat Predictable Change in Opinion

Because the attack has remained such a presence in many Americans’ minds, it’s perhaps unsurprising that, over time’ mass opinion towards the individuals who participated in January 6 has started to change. Many people feel sympathy for the alleged leader, Donald Trump, but what about all the people who stormed the capitol in his name?

Source: Britannica

A recent poll done by USA Today reveals that mass attitudes towards these individuals are slowly, and surprisingly, changing. The poll reveals a growing division in America, with an increasing number of people expressing sympathy for the rioters and the “struggles” that they are facing in the American justice system.

Results of the New Poll

The new poll offers some fascinating – or perhaps upsetting – details about this change in opinion. The poll reveals an increase in public sympathy for those who stormed the capitol on January 6, reflecting a significant shift in national sentiment.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The poll also reveals a notable decrease in the percentage of voters who view the rioters as criminals. Shortly after January 6 happened, as many as 70% of Americans on both sides of the aisle saw the rioters as criminals. They believed that what the rioters had done was inherently wrong, and inherently anti-American.

The Rioters “Have a Point”

This figure has dropped significantly in the years since January 6. The number of individuals who now see the capital rioters as criminals is a mere 48%, marking a notable shift in public opinion towards these people and their actions.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

According to the poll, there are many people who have started to see the January 6 rioters as “having a point” in their actions, though many respondents did acknowledge that the rioters went too far in trying to prove their agenda.

A Frustrated Subset of Americans

Initially, the event was seen as a blatant attack on American democracy. After all, the stated intent of the capitol demonstration was to stop the 2020 election from being formalized in Congress, to allegedly allow for more time to investigate allegations of election fraud.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Now, though, respondents of the new poll state that they have started to see the rioters as part of a frustrated – and understandable – demographic of Americans. They see the rioters as individuals who have felt unheard in a polarized political climate, the view increasing in respondents from 24% to 37%.

Some Even Approve

The poll also reveals that there are some Americans who even approve of the rioter’s actions. Immediately after the event, 6% of respondents believed that their actions were appropriate. This number hasn’t shifted much in the years since the event, revealing a small subset of Americans who fully endorse the rioter’s actions.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Tyler Merbler

Some analysts have suggested that this subset of Americans has been pushed by ongoing political polarization in America. Certain voter groups’, notably conservatives, have expressed deep fears about apparent threats to their political ideas and representation in the country.

Ongoing Investigations Continuing

This poll comes in the wake of ongoing investigations and prosecutions, as well as a new video that has been released from the day of the riot. Supporters of the rioters released a time-stamped video that they claimed offered a “clearer context” for the events, particularly the shooting of Ashli Babbitt.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

Many Americans see January 6 as a serious, significant event in American history, and are scared of a potential repeat. The USA Today poll reveals a significant divide in political opinions ahead of the upcoming 2024 election, with polarization clear between Americans who support Donald Trump and Americans who support Joe Biden.

Trust in the Electoral Process

Perhaps most significantly, the poll reveals a divide in Americans’ trust of the electoral process. The poll reveals that voters who identified as Democrats had significantly more trust in elections, while Republicans were significantly more skeptical of the process and the security of elections in America.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Michael Stokes

Across the board, though, it was revealed that voters of all political affiliations and age groups are concerned about the future of American democracy, though the reasons why differed. Threats to democracy such as government corruption, immigration policies, and influence of high-profile figures such as Donald Trump were cited as reasons for the lack of trust, and it doesn’t appear that these concerns are going away anytime soon.

Equal Blame on Both Sides of the Aisle

The most fascinating poll result wasn’t who supported January 6 rioters, or who was concerned about elections, though. The poll revealed that across the board, voters held politicians on both sides of the aisle equally responsible for these threats to democracy. Evidently, Americans don’t care if you’re a Democrat or Republican, they’re all equally culpable.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

It will be interesting to see how perceptions regarding the American political system, January 6, and the rioters continue to change as time passes. The poll makes clear that opinions regarding these important events are fluid, and as the 2024 election draws closer, it’s almost certain that opinions and thoughts will only become more polarized.

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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