Poll: Americans Fear Repeat of 6 Jan Attack as Capitol Riot Anniversary Looms
© AFP 2023 / DREW ANGERERThe U.S. Capitol is seen through security bike racks on January 4, 2022 in Washington, DC. In recent media reports, the U.S. Capitol Police has stated that the agency has taken steps to beef up security and prevent a repeat of the riot that occurred last January 6.
© AFP 2023 / DREW ANGERER
January last year was marked by a Capitol riot in Washington, DC that claimed five lives, including that of a police officer. The rioters demanded the dismissal of the 2020 presidential election results, which saw Joe Biden win the White House.
Days away from the Capitol riot's anniversary, Americans seem to fear a repeat of a similar attack in the coming few years, and their faith in US democracy appears to be fading, a new Axios-Momentive poll has found.
Per the poll, 57% of Americans believe that a similar attack is likely to occur again in the next couple of years - among them 70% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans. 37% of the respondents said they had lost faith in American democracy, with 49% still hopeful, and 10% arguing they never had any such faith.
The survey also shows that fewer than six in 10 Americans (55%) believe that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election legitimately, with the number slightly decreasing compared to last year's 58%. 26% of the respondents refuse to accept Biden as the legitimate president.
Some two-thirds (63%) of Americans believe that the 6 January events have somewhat changed the way US citizens think about their democracy. At the same time, the only thing that united US adults, according to the poll, is a belief that the country is divided like never before, with 53% confident that the divisions are worse than earlier and are likely to continue far into the future.
In regard to the House select committee that was formed in July 2021 to investigate the Capitol riot, it does not appear to enjoy unanimous support from Americans. The poll shows only three in 10 (32%) Republicans support the panel's work, compared to 88% of Democrats and 58% of adults overall who say the same.
The Capitol riot took place on 6 January 2021, with hundreds of rioters storming the Capitol building in Washington, DC, attempting to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Many have put the blame for "inciting insurrection" on former US President Donald Trump, who held a big "Save America" rally hours before the Capitol riot, denouncing the election results and telling his supporters that "you'll never take back our country with weakness".
Trump also told the crowd that "we are going to the Capitol" - a line that was later branded by his accusers as a call for his supporters to storm the Capitol. Hours later, Trump called on his supporters to refrain from violence and "stay peaceful".
The former president, however, denied any wrongdoing, and was acquitted by the Senate after House Democrats impeached him for "inciting insurrection".
5 January 2022, 03:45 GMT
The Capitol riot claimed five lives, including that of a Capitol police officer, and left many injured. In order to probe the events of 6 January 2021, a 9/11-style House select committee was formed, assembling seven Democrats and two Republicans to investigate the causes and the implications of the Capitol riot.
The work of the committee saw little support from Trump, who, having vehemently rejected a request from the panel to obtain his White House records from the time of the riot, claimed that the goal of the committee is to uncover evidence to prosecute him.
The former president earlier intended to hold a presser on the Capitol riot anniversary in his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, but cancelled it on Tuesday, citing the "total bias and dishonesty" of the 6 January panel.