January 4, 2022
As the U.S. House of Representatives select committee investigates the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, most Americans recall a very violent day and support Congress’ investigation. Eighty percent of the public consider the individuals involved mostly responsible, but 57% also say former President Donald Trump deserves a great deal or quite a bit of blame for the attack on the Capitol, more than said so at the end of January 2021. Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the riot was extremely or very violent, and about 7 in 10 think Congress should continue investigating the events of January 6.
Most Americans say the actual individuals who stormed the Capitol on January 6 bear the most blame. Half of Republicans and more than three-quarters of Democrats say the rioters bear a great deal of responsibility for the insurrection.
Seventy percent of Americans think Trump bears at least a moderate amount of responsibility for the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than half who say he bears a great deal or quite a bit. Most Republicans don’t blame him, but about 4 in 10 think he bears at least a moderate amount of responsibility.
Last January, 50% of all Americans and 90% of Democrats said Trump had a great deal or quite a bit of blame for the attack by a group of his supporters. At that time, 71% of Republicans said he had little or no responsibility.
Overall, the public assigns less blame to either Republicans or Democrats in Congress. However, while 68% of Democrats say Republicans in Congress have a great deal or quite a bit of responsibility for the violence on January 6, only 13% of Republican agree. Thirty-nine percent of Republicans attribute a great deal or quite a bit of responsibility for the breach to Democrats, and 10% of Democrats agree.
Democrats are much more inclined than Republicans to regard the uprising on January 6 as extremely or very violent.
Opinions on the investigation also fall along partisan lines, with 96% of Democrats saying the Congress should continue its investigation into what happened on January 6, versus only 41% of Republicans.
The nationwide poll was conducted December 2-7, 2021 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,089 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.1 percentage points.
- Suggested Citation: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (January 2022). “A Year Later, Who is to Blame for the Attack on the Capitol?” https://apnorc.org/projects/a-year-later-who-is-to-blame-for-the-attack-on-the-capitol