Poll: Half of Republicans believe Capitol riot was work of left-wing activists
More than half of Republicans in a new survey believe that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 was secretly “led” by left-wing activists eager to tarnish the now-former president’s reputation, according to a new survey.
A Reuters-Ipsos poll published Monday found that 55 percent of Republicans at least somewhat believe that baseless statement to be true, with nearly a third, at 32 percent, saying they “strongly agree” with the idea that “the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol was led by violent left-wing protestors trying to make Trump look bad.”
Similar numbers say they believe that the vast majority of those who took part in the riot were actually law-abiding citizens there to “peacefully” protest the result of the 2020 election, which former President Trump and many of his supporters have falsely claimed was stolen by President Biden. Fifty-one percent said that they at least somewhat agreed with the idea that the insurrections, who broke doors and windows in the assault that left five people dead, were “mostly peaceful, law abiding Americans.”
Just 28 percent of GOP respondents are willing to levy even partial blame on Trump for the riot, which forced lawmakers into hiding as they attempted to certify the Electoral College results and left dozens of police wounded and one Capitol Police officer dead. Two Capitol Police officers would die by suicide in the days and weeks after.
Independent voters point their fingers at Trump for the riot, according to the poll: 52 percent agree that he deserves at least some of the blame, while 35 percent disagree. Sixty-one percent of independents disagree with the idea that the rioters were “mostly peaceful, law abiding Americans,” and 60 percent disagreed that the protesters were led by left-wing activists.
The claims of left-wing involvement in the deadly riot have been rejected by law enforcement but have failed to disappear among the pro-Trump wing of the GOP.
The Reuters-Ipsos poll was conducted among 1,005 U.S. adults from March 30 to 31. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points overall, 5.7 percentage points among Republicans and 10.2 percentage points for independents.