How Americans Perceive the Events on Capitol Hill

An interesting poll by YouGov looks at how Americans felt about the assault on the seat of their government in early January 2021.  Here are the results.

YouGov polled 1,397 registered voters who had heard about the events on Capitol Hill and, not surprisingly, voters' sentiment toward the events are divided along party lines.  Of all voters, 62 percent perceived that the actions taken by the protestors were a threat to democracy with 63 percent saying that they "strongly oppose" the actions taken by "President Trump's supporters" with an additional 8 percent saying that they "somewhat oppose" what has happened.  Overall, 21 percent of voters stated that they supported the actions at the Capitol and, among those who believe that voter fraud took place during the 2020 Presidential election, 56 percent felt that the actions of the demonstrators was justified.

These results can be broken down further as follows:

1.) 93 percent of Democrats perceived the actions as a threat with only 4 percent perceiving the actions as not a threat to democracy.

2.) 55 percent of Independents perceived the actions as a threat with 32 percent perceiving the actions as not a threat to democracy.

3.) 27 percent of Republicans perceived the actions as a threat with 68 percent perceiving the actions as not a threat to democracy.

Among Republicans, 45 percent actively supported the actions of the demonstrators at Capitol Hill with 43 percent being opposed.

Here is a graphic showing the results:

There are also additional perceptions that are affected by respondent's political persuasion:

1.) 59 percent of all respondents believed that the events were more violent than peaceful with 28 percent believing that events were more peaceful than violent.

2.) 58 percent of Republicans beloved that the events were more peaceful than violent with 22 percent believing that events were more violent than peaceful.

When it comes to placing blame for the events, among all voters, 55 percent believe that Donald Trump was to be blamed "a great deal", 11 percent believe that he is "somewhat to blame", 9 percent believe that he is "not much to be blamed" and 22 percent believe that he was "not at all to be blamed".  Not surprisingly, there is a significant difference in viewpoint based on political affiliation:

1.) Democrats – 90 percent believe that Donald Trump was to be blamed "a great deal", 6 percent believe that he is "somewhat to blame", and only 4 percent believe that he is either "not much to be blamed" or "not at all to be blamed".

2.) Republicans – 13 percent believe that Donald Trump was to be blamed "a great deal", 15 percent believed that he is "somewhat to blame", 16 percent believe that he is "not much to be blamed" and 53 percent believe that he was "not at all to be blamed".

YouGov also looked at how voters felt about Joe Biden's role in the events.  To summarize, 5 percent of Democrats felt that he was either "a great deal to blame" or "somewhat to blame" compared to 35 percent of Republicans who felt that he was "a great deal to blame" or "somewhat to blame".

Here is a graphic showing the results:

Lastly, and given that it is becoming an increasingly heard narrative, let's look at how voters viewed the protestors noting that respondents were allowed to choose more than one option:

1.) All voters – 52 percent view them as extremists, 49 percent view them as domestic terrorists, 41 percent viewed them as criminals and only 15 percent viewed them as patriots.

2.) Democrats – 74 percent view them as extremists, 78 percent view them as domestic terrorists, 63 percent viewed them as criminals and only 2 percent viewed them as patriots.

3.) Republicans – 26 percent view them as extremists, 17 percent view them as domestic terrorists, 16 percent viewed them as criminals and 30 percent viewed them as patriots.

While the results of this poll are not terribly surprising, they show us just how politically polarized and paralyzed the United States (or Untied States) has become.  Neither side is willing to see the other side's viewpoint and politicians who know this only too well are using this reality to divide and conquer America and play voters for fools.

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