Trump’s Edge? New Poll Shows Public Opinion Shifting Over Ex-President’s Role In Jan. 6 Capitol Riots: ‘They Were Whipped Into A Frenzy By FBI’

The inaugural phase of the 2024 presidential election begins with the Iowa Republican Caucus on Jan. 15. Despite the looming threat of debarment, the momentum is notably shifting in favor of Donald Trump, as indicated by a recent poll released on Monday.

What Happened: A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll identified a decline in the percentage of individuals attributing responsibility to Trump for the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots, relative to December 2021. 

Approximately 53% of respondents indicated that the former president was either a great deal or a good amount responsible for the riot, in contrast to 60% in 2021. Conducted online and via phone from Dec. 14-18, 2023, the poll engaged 1,024 adults.

A noteworthy trend emerged, indicating a reduced perception of violence among the Jan. 6 protestors compared to 2021. The Post’s report highlighted evolving views in follow-up interviews, where some now believed the riot was instigated by law enforcement to quell political dissent. 

A voter from Ohio, Colleen Michaels, captured the sentiment: “There were so many people that felt the election was rigged. It was not right for them to break in like that, but they were fed up and frustrated, and they were whipped into a frenzy by the FBI and others.”

See Also: Trump Surpasses Biden Among Hispanic, Young Voters, According To Latest Poll

However, only 33% believed Trump was innocent of criminal conspiracy charges related to defrauding the U.S., contrasting with 56% who considered him guilty. While 57% believed the Department of Justice was holding Trump accountable under the law like any other individual, 41% perceived unfair targeting.

The proportion of respondents endorsing President Joe Biden‘s legitimate election decreased from 69% in 2021 to 62% presently, leading to a rise in those deeming Biden’s election as illegitimate, from 29% to 36%. Addressing a separate question, 33% asserted widespread evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 elections, up from 30% in 2021, with the proportion claiming solid evidence dropping from 68% to 63%.

The significance lies in the efforts by liberals and activists in various states to debar Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot, invoking Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Simultaneously, Trump seeks relief under presidential immunity. 

Despite facing civil and criminal cases, Trump holds a commanding position in the GOP primary race with 61.3% support, as per a composite score compiled from multiple polls by polling analytic firm FiveThirtyEight. In contrast, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis lags significantly with only 11.3% voter support.

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