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Fewer Republicans say it's important to prosecute Capitol rioters: poll
Support among Republicans for prosecuting those accused of rioting at the Capitol on Jan. 6 has dropped precipitously in the last six months, according to a Pew Research survey released Tuesday.
According to the poll, 57 percent of GOP respondents say it is either "very" or "somewhat" important that federal law enforcement agencies find and prosecute those who stormed the Capitol in a failed attempt to prevent the certification of President Biden's Electoral College victory.
That number is a 22-point drop from March, when 79 percent of Republicans said it was important to prosecute alleged Capitol rioters.
Twenty-seven percent of Republicans now say it is very important to prosecute Capitol rioters, down from 50 percent who said the same in March. However, 30 percent said it is somewhat important to prosecute Capitol rioters, slightly up from the 29 percent who said as much in March.
Overall, 78 percent of respondents said it was important to prosecute Capitol rioters, down from the 87 percent who said the same six months ago.
More than 600 people have been charged in connection with the riots in the eight months since, and more than 50 have entered guilty pleas, according to the Department of Justice.
Among the overall public, 48 percent said the criminal penalties against Capitol rioters are not severe enough, according to Pew. Twenty percent of respondents said they are too severe, and 29 percent said the penalties are about right.
The survey found that Republicans were divided among their opinions on criminal penalties.
Thirty-eight percent of Republicans said the penalties are too severe, while 39 percent said the penalties are about right and 19 percent said the penalties are not severe enough.
The poll surveyed 10,371 respondents from Sept. 13-19, 2021. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.6 percentage points.