45% of Republicans approve of the Capitol riots, poll claims

One-fifth of all those surveyed said they agreed with the pro-Trump mob, with GOP voters most supportive 

Gino Spocchia
Thursday 07 January 2021 17:58 GMT
US vice president Mike Pence condemns rioters 
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Almost half of Republicans support rioters who stormed the US Capitol building on Wednesday, a new poll claims.

Among Republicans who responded to the survey carried out by YouGov, some 45 per cent said they supported the rioters who scaled walls, overcame Capitol police, stormed Congress, smashed windows, and planted explosives.

As many as one-fifth (21 per cent) of all respondents to the survey were supportive of the Capitol rioters, according to YouGov, although only 2 per cent of Democrats agreed with their actions

The chaos, which delayed the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election win, forced lawmakers to barricade themselves inside congressional offices while Donald Trump’s supporters ran riot within the Capitol Building.

Washington DC police said afterwards that four people died, and more than 50 arrests were made. Mr Trump, meanwhile, was condemned by members of both political parties as having incited an attack on American democracy.

Asked whether or not they thought the violence was a threat to democracy, 27 per cent of Republicans surveyed said it was, and 68 per cent said it was not. 

When asked the same question, 93 per cent of Democrats surveyed said they believed Wednesday’s chaos was a threat to democracy. While among all registered voters, 62 per cent said the riot was a threat. 

The wide differences in responses from Republicans and Democrats appeared to be down to who they thought was to blame, with 90 per cent of Democrats polled saying the US president was most to blame for the actions of the rioters. 

Thirty-five per cent of Republicans, by comparison, told YouGov that president-elect Biden was most to blame. 

Speaking after the riot, Mr Biden said in an address that the president’s supporters were carrying out an “unprecedented assault," and added: "it’s not a protest, it’s an insurrection".

Mr Trump, who said in a video shortly afterwards that he “loved” his supporters, had earlier called on them to be “strong" and to march on the Capitol, falsely alleging that Congress was certifying an election rigged against him.

Congress, however, went on to confirm Mr Biden as the 46th president in the early hours of Thursday. 

1,448 registered voters, of which 1,397 were aware of the Capitol riot, were included in the YouGov poll carried out on Wednesday evening. 

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