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Insider poll: One in 10 Americans say the Capitol siege was justified

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Insider poll: One in 10 Americans say the Capitol siege was justified 2

  • A new Insider poll found that a vast majority of the American public believes the Capitol Siege was uncalled for, with 66% saying it was “completely unjustified.”
  • However, 11% of nearly 1,060 respondents, polled online between January 13 and January 14, said they could justify it in some way.
  • Of them, almost 6% said the deadly insurrection was “completely justified,” while 5.6% said it was “somewhat justified.”
  • Respondents who think the president’s allegations of voter fraud are credible were much more likely to justify the assault. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A significant majority of the American public says the deadly attempted coup on Capitol Hill last week was not justified, but roughly 11% of respondents they can justify it in some way, according to a new Insider poll.

Conducted with SurveyMonkey Audience, the poll was conducted online between January 13 and January 14 among 1,059 respondents, with a margin of error of 3%.

We asked: “Do you think the storming of the US Capitol was justified or unjustified?”

  • 5.7% said it was “completely justified.”
  • 5.6% said it was “somewhat justified.”
  • 11% said it was “neither justified nor unjustified.”
  • 7% said it was “somewhat unjustified.”
  • 65% said it was “completely unjustified.”
  • The rest, around 5%, said they “don’t know.”

The results mirror widespread condemnations of the attack from public officials, but also reveal a sizable minority of Americans who sympathize with the insurrectionists.

Read more: ‘It was degrading’: Black Capitol custodial staff talk about what it felt like to clean up the mess left by violent pro-Trump white supremacists

Subsequent questions unearthed at least some plausible contributing reasons for a respondent to be able to justify the attack, which is being investigated by federal law enforcement and has led to a significant number of charges for those involved.

Specifically, respondents were asked “President Trump has made a number of allegations about the voting process in the 2020 election. Do you think his accusations are credible?” Among those respondents who assign the spurious allegations high credibility, close to 20% think the storming of the capitol was completely justified, and another 8% somewhat agree. 

Once considered to be reserved for developing countries, political sectarianism is on the rise in the US along with the threat of violent right-wing and white supremacist groups.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Polling data collected 1,059 respondents January 13-14, 2021. All polls carried approximately a 3 percentage point margin of error individually.

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