A Third Of Americans Believe Violence Against Government Is Sometimes Justified
A new poll has found that 34% of Americans believe that violence against the government is sometimes justified. The poll, which was conducted by The Washington Post and the University of Maryland, was released just days before the one-year anniversary of the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
The percentage of those who support violence against the government “is considerably higher than in past polls by the Post or other major news organizations dating back more than two decades,” the paper wrote.
The survey was conducted between Dec. 17 and Dec. 19. It revealed that attitudes toward this issue differ based on party affiliation. It found that 40% of Republicans and 41% of independents believe violence against government is sometimes justified, while 23% of Democrats believe this.
The Post and the University of Maryland polled 1,101 adults online and by phone. The results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4%.
Jan. 6 will mark the anniversary of the Capitol insurrection. At the insurrection, supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, assaulted law enforcement, destroyed property and attempted to assassinate politicians. They did so in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
Trump and other Republican figures perpetuated baseless conspiracy theories about the illegitimacy of the election results and encouraged outrage. As his supporters stormed the Capitol, Trump waited hours to call the rioters away. When he finally told them to leave, he affirmed that he agreed with the insurrectionists’ beliefs and said that he thought the rioters were “very special.”
The poll found that 60% of Americans believe Trump has at least some responsibility for the attack. Republicans and Trump-supporting respondents tended believe he has less responsibility.
After the insurrection, the House impeached Trump for inciting the mob. However, he was later acquitted after he left office. The vast majority of Senate Republicans voted to acquit Trump. Many Republican leaders and figureheads continue to voice support for the insurrectionists.
According to the Post-UMD poll, 54% of Americans believe rioters who entered the Capitol were “mostly violent,” 19% view them as “mostly peaceful,” and 27% see them as “equally peaceful and violent.” Of these respondents, 78% of Democrats considered the insurrectionists “mostly violent,” while only 26% of Republicans did.
A separate CBS News-YouGov poll was released Sunday, which analyzed Americans’ expectations of violence after future presidential elections. According to the poll, 62% of Americans expect violence, while 38% expect the losing side to concede peacefully. At least a quarter of Americans said that, depending on the situation, “force might be justified.” They said that factors that could influence justification include gun policies, election results, civil rights issues and labor concerns.
The CBS-YouGov poll was conducted among 2,063 adults from Dec. 27 to Dec. 30. The results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.6%.
According to the latter poll, 62% of Americans said that they believe Trump should “not seek the presidency again,” while 26% said he should run in 2024.