Nearly a year after a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, a new national poll revisited how Americans feel about the insurrection and who they hold responsible.
The UMass Amherst poll results are based on 1,000 interviews conducted between Dec. 14 and Dec. 20. Many of the questions included in the revisited topics the researchers first studied in April.
For example, the UMass Amherst poll found that when given a list of names and groups, 45% of respondents in April's poll held former President Donald Trump "most responsible" for the violence that occurred on Jan. 6. In December, that dipped by one point to 44%.
Among only those who voted for President Joe Biden in 2020, however, 79% blamed Trump.
The poll's margin of error is 3.1%.
"What you see in these results is an America that really, based on partisan lines, is living in two diametrically opposed realities. You have Democrats on the one hand who, for the most part, tell us that Donald Trump was to blame," said Prof. Alexander Theodoridis, Associate Director of the UMass Poll. "Then, on the other side, you have really blame spread across the Democratic party — Antifa interestingly enough and the Capitol Police, also — which is basically anyone but Donald Trump."
The December poll was similarly consistent in the percentage of respondents who believe President Joe Biden was legitimately elected. In April, 59% said his election was definitely or probably legitimate and the December poll found 58% believe the same.
Since the Jan. 6 attack, hundreds of people have faced charges and several were sentenced to time in prison.
Respondents to the latest poll were slightly less likely to describe the participants in the attack as "rioters," with 50% selecting that description from a list in December, down from 54% in April. The poll found similarly that respondents in December were 6% less likely to describe the participants as a "mob," 5% less likely to select the word "terrorists," 4% less likely to pick "insurrectionists," and 7% less likely to select the phrase "white nationalists" as a description.
The new poll found that 58% of Americans believe members of congress or then-Vice President Mike Pence would have been physically harmed if they had been found by the crowd.
Support for the ongoing investigation and prosecution of the participants softened from 52% to 46% in the latest poll. Among those who voted for Biden in 2020, however, 91% support the ongoing law enforcement effort while 53% of Trump voters oppose it.