Are the January 6 Select Committee’s hearings starting to have an impact?
A new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe formerDonald Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the January 6, 2021 coup attempt.
And 6 in 10 Americans believe the committee hearings have been fair.
In the poll, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel, 58% of Americans think Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the riot. That’s up slightly from late April, before the hearings began, when an ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 52% of Americans thought the former president should be charged.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll that asked a similar question days after the attack in January 2021 found that 54% of Americans thought Trump should be charged with the crime of inciting a riot.
And the results seem predictable. You can easily guess what the bulk of Republicans and Democrats think, and just like in the 2020 elections independent voters as a block fall in more with Democrats than GOPers:
The poll divides along party lines, with 91% of Democrats thinking Trump should be charged with a crime compared to 19% of Republicans. On whether Trump bears a “great deal” or a “good amount” of responsibility for the attack, 91% of Democrats and 21% of Republicans say he does.
Among self-described independents, 62% think Trump should be charged and 61% think he bears a “great deal” or a “good amount” of responsibility.
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough sees signs the committee hearings may be having an impact:
“You look at the number — only 19 percent of Republicans, let’s stop for a second and think about this,” Scarborough said. “In this world of small margins that we play by every election, whether it was 2016 or 2020, let’s just stop for a second and go, oh, wow. Only 19 percent of Republicans think he should be charged with a crime and go to jail. That’s one in five Republicans.”
“Now, I must say, I ran four times and won easily four times,” he added. “But if one in five of my base thought I should have been charged with a crime and gone to jail, I mean, I would have gone and practiced law a lot earlier. Again, this is starting to resonate, this is starting to sink in. I just — we love to knock around Washington institutions. I’m not saying you, but all of us, we love to talk about how ineffective people in Congress or committees are. This committee has gotten the truth out to the American people, and even at the beginning of the summer, they’re listening. That’s shocking to me.”
Photo 61587174 / Poll © Iqoncept | Dreamstime.com
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.