Majority of Americans think Jan. 6 attack threatened democracy: POLL

Most Americans condemn it and believe Trump is at least partially to blame.

January 2, 2022, 9:09 AM

Nearly a year after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, a strong majority of Americans condemn it and believe former President Donald Trump is at least partially to blame. But partisan splits have hardened over time, with Republicans still largely backing Trump's version of events, a new ABC/Ipsos poll finds.

An overwhelming majority (72%) of Americans believe the people involved in the attack on the Capitol were "threatening democracy," while 1 in 4 Americans believes that the individuals involved were "protecting democracy." Broken down by party identification, Democrats are nearly unanimous (96%) in believing that those involved in the attacks were threatening democracy. Republicans are more split, with 45% saying it was a threat and 52% saying those involved in the riot were "protecting democracy."

The ABC/Ipsos poll, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos' KnowledgePanel, also shows strongly aligned views among Democrats regarding Trump's responsibility for the attack, with 91% believing Trump bears either "a great deal" or "a good amount" of responsibility for it. On the other hand, a strong majority (78%) of Republicans believe the former president bears "just some" or no responsibility for the day's events.

Insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021.
Jose Luis Magana/AP, FILE

These figures are strikingly consistent with polling taken in the immediate aftermath of Jan. 6, despite efforts by Trump to recast the narrative and block the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack from obtaining records from his administration.

Overall, in this poll, 58% of Americans think Trump bears a "great deal" or a "good amount" of responsibility for the events, unchanged from an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted on Jan. 13, 2021, in which 57% of Americans said he was responsible.

Trump has since defended his perceived involvement, claiming as recently as this month in an interview with Fox News that a speech he gave on the National Mall preceding the attack was "extremely calming." He also maintains that what transpired was not an insurrection but rather a "protest."

Trump's persistent and baseless claim that the election was stolen from him doesn't appear to be changing minds with Americans, according to this ABC/Ipsos poll.

Insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump swarm the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021.
John Minchillo/AP, FILE

Sixty-five percent of Americans believe Biden's victory in the 2020 election was legitimate, which is similar to the results of a January 2021 ABC News/Ipsos poll (68%). Nearly all Democrats -- 93% -- think the election results were legitimate while most Republicans do not. Among Republicans, 71% sided with Trump's false claims that he was the rightful winner.

This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted using Ipsos Public Affairs' KnowledgePanel® Dec. 27 to 29, 2021, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 982 adults with oversamples of Black and Hispanic respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 29-25-36%, Democrats-Republicans-independents. See the poll's topline results and details on the methodology here.

ABC News' Dan Merkle and Ken Goldstein contributed to this report.