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Half of Republicans believe false accounts of deadly U.S. Capitol riot-Reuters/Ipsos poll

WorldApr 05, 2021 02:40PM ET
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3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Light catches the security fence around the U.S. Capitol, erected in the wake of the January 6th attack but now scheduled to start being removed, in Washington 2/3

By James Oliphant and Chris Kahn

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Since the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have pushed false and misleading accounts to downplay the event that left five dead and scores of others wounded. His supporters appear to have listened.

Three months after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try to overturn his November election loss, about half of Republicans believe the siege was largely a non-violent protest or was the handiwork of left-wing activists "trying to make Trump look bad," a new Reuters/Ipsos poll has found.

Six in 10 Republicans also believe the false claim put out by Trump that November's presidential election "was stolen" from him due to widespread voter fraud, and the same proportion of Republicans think he should run again in 2024, the March 30-31 poll showed.

Since the Capitol attack, Trump, many of his allies within the Republican Party and right-wing media personalities have publicly painted a picture of the day’s events jarringly at odds with reality.

Hundreds of Trump’s supporters, mobilized by the former president's false claims of a stolen election, climbed walls of the Capitol building and smashed windows to gain entry while lawmakers were inside voting to certify President Joe Biden’s election victory. The rioters - many of them sporting Trump campaign gear and waving flags - also included known white supremacist groups such as the Proud Boys.

    In a recent interview with Fox News, Trump said the rioters posed “zero threat.” Other prominent Republicans, such as Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, have publicly doubted whether Trump supporters were behind the riot.

Last month, 12 Republicans in the House of Representatives voted against a resolution honoring Capitol Police officers who defended the grounds during the rampage, with one lawmaker saying that he objected using the word “insurrection” to describe the incident.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll shows a large number of rank-and-file Republicans have embraced the myth. While 59% of all Americans say Trump bears some responsibility for the attack, only three in 10 Republicans agree. Eight in 10 Democrats and six in 10 independents reject the false claims that the Capitol siege was "mostly peaceful" or it was staged by left-wing protestors.

“Republicans have their own version of reality,” said John Geer, an expert on public opinion at Vanderbilt University. “It is a huge problem. Democracy requires accountability and accountability requires evidence.”

The refusal of Trump and prominent Republicans to repudiate the events of Jan. 6 increases the likelihood of a similar incident happening again, said Susan Corke, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.

"That is the biggest danger – normalizing this behavior," Corke said. “I do think we are going to see more violence.”

In a fresh reminder of the security threats the U.S. Capitol faces since Jan. 6, a motorist rammed a car into U.S. Capitol police on Friday and brandished a knife, killing one officer and injuring another and forcing the Capitol complex to lock down. Officers shot and killed the suspect.

Allie Carroll, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said its members condemned the Capitol attack and referred to a Jan. 13 statement from Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. "Violence has no place in our politics ... Those who partook in the assault on our nation's Capitol and those who continue to threaten violence should be found, held accountable, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," McDaniel said.

A representative for Trump did not respond to requests for comment. 

'DANGEROUS SPIN ON REALITY'

The disinformation campaign aimed at downplaying the insurrection and Trump's role in it reflects a growing consensus within the Republican Party that its fortunes remain tethered to Trump and his devoted base, political observers say.

According to the new Reuters/Ipsos poll, Trump remains the most popular figure within the party, with eight in 10 Republicans continuing to hold a favorable impression of him.

“Congressional Republicans have assessed they need to max out the Trump vote to win,” said Tim Miller, a former spokesman for Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. “That that is the path back to the majority.”

Republicans in Congress show few signs of breaking with Trump. Right after the deadly Capitol siege, 147 Republican lawmakers voted against certifying Biden's election win. The Democratic-led House of Representatives impeached Trump for "inciting an insurrection", making him the only U.S. president to be impeached twice, but most Senate Republicans acquitted him of the charge in a trial.

Last week, Republican congressman Jim Banks of Indiana said the party must cater to the working-class voters that comprise Trump’s political base ahead of next year’s critical midterm elections that will dictate control of Congress.

"Members who want to swap out working-class voters because they resent President Trump’s impact... are wrong," Banks wrote in a memo to Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy, contents of which he posted on Twitter.

Banks was one of the 147 lawmakers who voted to block certification of Biden's win, and he later voted against impeaching Trump. Banks did not respond to requests for comment.

Some mainstream Republicans contend that after Republicans lost both the White House and control of both chambers of Congress on Trump's watch, the party must move on from the former president in order to attract suburban, moderate and independent voters.

In the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, only about three in 10 independents said they have a favorable view of Trump, among the lowest level recorded since his presidency. Most Americans -- about 60% -- also believe Biden won the November election fair and square, and said Trump should not run again.

Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of Trump's top Republican critics in Congress, has criticized the push to rewrite the history of the Capitol attack.

The disinformation effort is “such a dangerous, disgusting spin on reality,” Kinzinger wrote in a fundraising appeal to supporters last month, “and what’s even worse is that it goes unchallenged by so many in the Republican Party.”

The window for the Republican Party to distance itself from Trump seems to have passed, Miller said.

“There was a chance after January 6 for Republican leaders to really put their foot down and say, ‘We can’t be the insurrectionist party,’” he said. “Now that opportunity is totally gone.”

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,005 adults between March 30-31. The poll has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 4 percentage points. 

Click here to see the full poll results: https://tmsnrt.rs/3mnB1Gw

Half of Republicans believe false accounts of deadly U.S. Capitol riot-Reuters/Ipsos poll
 

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Comments (28)
Forex Harbingers
Forex Harbingers Apr 07, 2021 1:22PM ET
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still waiting for you biased B's to tell the truth about the summer riots, and how many that killed, for your leftist views. Trash
James Andrews
James Andrews Apr 06, 2021 12:27AM ET
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Any child can see the bia s in the media today. They keep calling the claims of frau d "lies" but it's a fact that six partisan secs of state illegally changed election laws and sent out tens of millions of unsolicite d ballots w/o legislative action. Would never have held up in court but the demora ts would have destroyed the country if they overturned it.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Apr 06, 2021 12:27AM ET
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"six partisan secs of state illegally changed election laws and sent out tens of millions of unsolicited d ballots"  --  let's for a moment say you are right (we all know you are not, but let's go with it for a min), that's still not a proof that the returned ballots are not sent in by legit voters......if I didn't ask for a ballot by mail but received one anyway, just because I voted by sending that ballot back doesn't mean fraud is committed
Rick Baier
Rick Baier Apr 05, 2021 11:14PM ET
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The media is the enemy. They are part of the swamp John F Kennedy tried to drain as well so many years ago.But they had him exterminated.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Apr 05, 2021 11:14PM ET
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they?  who is they?  be specific
Mart Bab
Rubberduck1973 Apr 05, 2021 6:42PM ET
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Considering the comments below, the article is spot on. Trump supporters seem to have lost their ability to think 🤔. I wonder if this is a side affect of corona.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Apr 05, 2021 6:42PM ET
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hard to think straight after spending hours each day on Q sites
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Apr 05, 2021 6:25PM ET
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What made 45 look bad was his Administration of Cronies.
Glenn Ebersole
Glenn Ebersole Apr 05, 2021 6:25PM ET
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Trump made Trump look bad because he was bad!
Yankee Steve
Yankee Steve Apr 05, 2021 2:54PM ET
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They says if you put 100 black snts and red ants in the same jar. They font attack each others but once you shake the jars. They are in each ither neck. That is what the politicuans and tge mainstream media is doing fanning the flame. NBA star Charles Barkley hit it right on the spot when he says they make us fight afainst each other so you dont focus on their mishandling of everything. They have their money, their private jet and their private property. Guys wake up and dont be stupid to fight against each other.
Brian Walsh
Brian Walsh Apr 05, 2021 1:41PM ET
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and don't forget, Antifa is just a myth! Huge mobs of blm & mythological Antifa violence, murdering, mayhem & burning in the middle of a pan-dem-ic are just fine & even promoted by dems and offenders, well they get free bail to make sure the mayhem continues.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Apr 05, 2021 1:41PM ET
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so you still believe Matt Gaetz when he said these terrible antifa criminals were behind the Jan 6 riots?  what else do you believe him, that he is completely innocent on all these other charges?
Rachele Bonded
Rachele Bonded Apr 05, 2021 12:55PM ET
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did Reuters ever do a piece on the Trump supporters yelling at people to stop breaking windows and such? or Sullivan being in a Trump hat after being a vocal blm/ antifa rioter all last year? or how Sullivan filmed himself being one of the first people in?
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Apr 05, 2021 12:55PM ET
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"Trump supporters yelling at people to stop breaking windows and such?"  --- you mean some trump supporters yelling at other trump supporters to stop breaking windows and such?   tell us, did that work?
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Apr 05, 2021 12:50PM ET
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I'd consider becoming a Republican again, If pigs start flying. (I'll wait.)
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Apr 05, 2021 11:46AM ET
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White-wing snowmelt below. Babies and conspiracy theorists. For the love of god bring back the strong silent type of conservative and quiet these jesters.
Randy Hurn
Randy Hurn Apr 05, 2021 10:40AM ET
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Reuters is garbage. Respectable and unbiased journalism is long gone for them.
danny Levine
danny Levine Apr 05, 2021 10:40AM ET
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Reuters is a Canadian company... talking about back stabbers...
Adrian White
Adrian White Apr 05, 2021 10:40AM ET
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Reuters is a well-respected international company that is just owned by a Canadian company. They cover news all over the world, not just the USA. They have no need to have any American political agenda like so many Trump-supporting cry-babies claim.
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Apr 05, 2021 10:40AM ET
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Big baby wah wah someone get Randy his bottle.
danny Levine
danny Levine Apr 05, 2021 10:40AM ET
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I've got nothing to say to you if you can't see the bias in Reuters articles
Randy Hurn
Randy Hurn Apr 05, 2021 10:40AM ET
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Reuters is garbage. Respectable and unbiased journalism is long gone for them.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Apr 05, 2021 10:40AM ET
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but you still still get that from FoxNews.Newsmax or OAN eh?
Bob Walter
Bob Walter Apr 05, 2021 9:38AM ET
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Biased reporting gives no facts to counter the "myths," falsely attempts associate recent car attack with Jan 6th ptotest.
Adrian White
Adrian White Apr 05, 2021 9:38AM ET
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Wrong, Bob. Nowhere does the article attempt to associate the recent car attack with the events of January 6. It simply mentioned it as another attack on the security of the Capito.
Adrian White
Adrian White Apr 05, 2021 9:38AM ET
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*Capitol
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Apr 05, 2021 9:38AM ET
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bIaSeD
Bob Walter
Bob Walter Apr 05, 2021 9:37AM ET
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Biased reporting gives no facts to counter the "myths," falsely attempts associate recent car attack with Jan 6th ptotest.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Apr 05, 2021 9:31AM ET
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I beleive the media blew up 100x bigger just to destroy Trump n the other party. In cali, there is only 1 party left n it is terrible.
Stefon Walters
AgapeGrace Apr 05, 2021 9:29AM ET
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False article with Leftist bias. Actually ZERO died as direct result the “deadly” gathering. All heart attacks, suicides and other unknown maladies. Even the police officer who died from a “fire extinguisher” has never been proven.
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Apr 05, 2021 9:29AM ET
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Someone get wolverex his bottle, he will cry whenever he hears truth or facts thst collide with his small-minded worldview.
Adrian White
Adrian White Apr 05, 2021 9:29AM ET
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Whether there were any deaths "as a direct result" (or indirect) is not really the point, and can be argued as a technicality. The point is that it was an extremely violent event that put people's lives at risk and did cause many injuries. And it was an assault on the democratic process of electoral certification that amounted to insurrection.
Stefon Walters
AgapeGrace Apr 05, 2021 9:29AM ET
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Benjamin McIntire Do facts make you desire to s/uc.k on a little bottle baby bennie?
Stefon Walters
AgapeGrace Apr 05, 2021 9:29AM ET
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Adrian White Actually “whether there were deaths” directly related to the gathering is ENTIRELY THE POINT as the biased Leftist media insist on describing the gathering as “deadly”. Again, pea brain Whitey, there were ZERO proven deaths directly related to the gathering. Hopefully that can sink into your biased Leftis pea brain this time. And no you may focus your attention upon truly DEADLY BLM RIOTS occuring across this country.
Juan San
Juan San Apr 05, 2021 9:15AM ET
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The more Reuters talks about Trump and not POTATUS Biden, the more I know they are worried about the job POTATUS Biden is doing and Trump running again in 2024.
Juan San
Juan San Apr 05, 2021 9:13AM ET
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All of Democrats believe false polls by propagandist Reuters.
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Apr 05, 2021 8:36AM ET
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Election is stolen, fascist Reuters knows it.
Kevin Eddlemon
Kevin Eddlemon Apr 05, 2021 8:35AM ET
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Another extreme left-wing bias garbage article by reuters.
American Truth
American Truth Apr 05, 2021 8:28AM ET
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Trump won the election... Trump lost to the deep state though.
Casador Del Oso
Casador Del Oso Apr 05, 2021 8:25AM ET
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time for the waders, this is getting deep
Steve Lora
Steve Lora Apr 05, 2021 8:12AM ET
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Josh Sullivan of blm was arrested along with non Trump ppl. 100% of Republicans should not believe it
Zen Warrior
Zen Warrior Apr 05, 2021 8:08AM ET
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tRump lost and you all know it! and it doesnt matter if firearms weren't brought into the capitol. People died! Stop minimizing the severity of what that orange ********has done. He is trying to destroy America and democracy along with his brainwashed followers. Ya'll need to wake up!
Steve Lora
Steve Lora Apr 05, 2021 8:08AM ET
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Biden legitimately got same as Hillary Clinton, 65m. Video in Atlanta alone shows Democrats running 1000s of ballots through machine for hours until they tipped the scale from -300k to +12k
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Apr 05, 2021 7:50AM ET
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Orwellian double think
 
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