Voters Find Trump Less Responsible For Jan. 6 After Dems’ Prime-Time Hearings

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Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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Americans are less likely to blame former President Donald Trump for the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 despite the U.S. Select Committee’s January 6 hearings accusing Trump of misconduct, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Monmouth University Polling Institute asked U.S. adults in June if Trump was “directly responsible” for the events on Jan. 6 before the committee’s five public hearings aired on prime-time news. Forty-two percent of voters said Trump should take the blame, the poll reported.

Conversely, after the committee’s hearings attempting to prove Trump encouraged and condoned the violence on Jan. 6, just 38% of voters believed Trump was “directly responsible,” the poll found. This is a 4-point drop since Cassidy Hutchinson’s appearance, according to Monmouth University.

The poll also reported a 1% drop in U.S. adults who believed Jan. 6 should be called a riot, and a two-point bump up in those who would classify it as an insurrection. (RELATED: Jan. 6 Theater Is Pushing Swing State Voters Away From Dems: REPORT)

Twenty-six percent of voters, a 1% increase from the previous poll, said Trump was not “directly responsible,” but he “encouraged those involved,” according to Monmouth University. Despite this, Trump received an increase in Americans who believe he did nothing wrong on Jan. 6, rising from 30% in June to 32% in August, the poll reported.

“The sensational revelations during the hearings do not seem to have moved the public opinion needle on Trump’s culpability for either the riot or his spurious election fraud claims,” Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray said in the poll. “This continues to give political cover to Republican leaders who avoid addressing the damage done to our democratic processes that day.”

Twenty-three percent of U.S. adults said they were “paying a lot of attention” to the Jan. 6 hearings, and 8% (a two-point increase) of those polled said the hearings “change [their] mind about the Capitol incident,” the poll found. More than 70% of Democrats are in favor of charging Trump over Jan 6., while 66% of Republicans oppose the move, the poll found.

As for Trump’s 2024 chances with voters, 40% of Americans said they would either definitely or probably vote for him in the next presidential election, according to the poll. That number increases among Republicans, where 62% said they would “definitely back Trump,” Monmouth University found.

“As we have seen from the success of Trump-endorsed candidates in recent primaries, he continues to hold sway over a large portion of the Republican base,” Murray said. “That doesn’t necessarily make him a shoe-in for the nomination in 2024, but he remains a formidable presence.”

The Monmouth University Poll surveyed 808 adults from July 28 to Aug. 1, with a margin of error of +/- 3.5%.