18 percent of Republicans support Capitol riots: Polls

Washington: Close to 18 percent of the Republicans support the pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday in opposition to Congress’s certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win according to a survey conducted by BS NewsHour/Marist released on Friday (local time).

Citing the survey, The Hill reported that more than 800 adults were polled the day after the riots also found some common support among other GOP (alternate name for the Republican Party) also found that despite some support among GOP members, most Americans, approximately 88 percent, either opposed or strongly opposed the mob’s actions.

“Nearly a fifth of Republicans — 18 percent — were in favor of Trump supporters breaking into the US Capitol, far more than the three percent of Democrats and seven percent of independents who felt the same,” as reported by the survey.

Those who surveyed were divided in their opinions on the level of President Donald Trump’s responsibility in the riots, with 63 percent of those surveyed saying Trump deserves “a great deal or good amount of blame” for Wednesday’s events. Among Republicans, 69 percent believe Trump is “at little or no fault”.

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“Trump encouraged his supporters at a rally on Wednesday to march to the Capitol and challenge Congress’s vote, repeating his disputed claims that the election was “stolen” from him and that there was widespread voter fraud,” The Hill reported.

Among those included in Friday’s poll, 48 percent joined calls from some lawmakers for the President to be removed from office, while 49 percent opposed such a move.

Among independents, about 51 percent believe Trump should remain in office with less than two weeks to go until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

A substantial majority, 90 percent of the respondents, believe the perpetrators of the riot, which saw participants breaking through windows of the Capitol and ransacking offices, should be prosecuted for their actions.

The survey, with regard to the police’s response to the events at Capitol Hill, reported that 56 percent of survey respondents believe that police were “not aggressive enough” in dealing with the rioters.

Several injuries have been reported since Wednesday’s events, and five people died amid the chaos, including a woman who was shot by a Capitol Police officer and an officer who died after suffering injuries while responding to the rioting. Both fatalities are under investigation.

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Lee Miringoff, director of The Marist Poll, said in a statement along with Friday’s survey said “there is a consensus across party lines that the divisions that exist pose a threat to our democracy,” with 81 percent of those surveyed agree with this sentiment as quoted by the American daily.

“But, Americans also believe we will dig ourselves out of this crisis, and the democracy will survive,” Miringoff added, as more than seven in 10 of those surveyed say they still believe in the strength of American democracy.

A chaotic and violent scene erupted at the Capitol on Wednesday as supporters of Trump stormed the building to protest the Electoral College vote, forcing a lockdown and various confrontations with police. Four people died in the melee.

Wednesday’s violence came hours after Trump encouraged his supporters to fight against the election results as Congress was certifying Biden’s victory in the November vote.

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