Similar shares of Americans view violent right-wing extremism, left-wing extremism as “big problems” for the country.
While the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies continue to file charges against those who participated in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, the American people generally express strong support for continuing these efforts. Still, there are quite partisan differences in attitudes towards the rebellion in the Capitol Building, Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to see the prosecution of the rebels as very important and say that the punishment for the rebels will be less severe than they should be.
A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center between 1 and 7 March 2021 among 12,055 US adults who were members of the American Trends Panel representing the Center at the national level, the vast majority of Americans (69%) say this is “very important” for federals. Law enforcement will find and prosecute those who entered the US Capital on January 6. The other 18% say doing this is “a little bit important”. Only 12% say it doesn’t matter much or doesn’t matter at all.
Nearly half (47%) of Americans say the penalties for the rebels will be less severe than they should be, while 22% say the penalties will be heavier than they should be. Only three out of ten (29%) think the penalties will be correct.
The public often express their trust in federal law enforcement to locate and prosecute those who entered the Capitol on January 6. Still, only 20% of those who say it is important for these institutions to complete this task have “confidence that law enforcement will bring the rebels to justice”, while the other 48% have a “fair amount” of confidence.
Republicans and Democrats differ sharply about how important law enforcement is to prosecute those involved in the January 6 riots and whether criminal penalties will be less severe than they deserve. Partisans are less divided over whether federal law enforcement can fulfill their task of finding and judging participants who have scattered across the country after the events of the day.
While the vast majority in both parties (95% of Democrats and 79% of Republicans, including those who lean on each party) say it is at least somewhat important for federal law enforcement to find and prosecute those responsible for the January 6 uprising, Democrats are more intense in their opinion: Democrats 86% of Democrats and independents who have leaned on the Party say finding and prosecuting the rebels is very important compared to half of the Republicans and Republican weaknesses.
Similarly, around two-thirds (65%) of Democrats say the rebels’ penalties will be less severe than they should have been. Republicans are divided: 37% say they are more violent than they should be, while 26% expect them to be less violent.
Also, Democrats express a slightly higher confidence in federal law enforcement to find and prosecute those responsible for what happened in the US Capitol in January. Among Democrats who say that finding and prosecuting those responsible for the Capitol riots is at least somewhat important, nearly seven out of ten Democrats (71%) trust federal law enforcement, compared to 66% of Republicans (18% a large sum and 49% a fair amount).
While the majority of Americans (44%) say the January 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol and its effects have received the right amount of attention overall, there are also significant differences in these views among Republicans and Democrats.
Many Republicans say the January 6 riots and their aftermath received a lot of attention (54% say this), which is not widely shared among Democrats (8% says too much). In contrast, 40% of Democrats say the uprising received little attention; Only 11% of Republicans say the same thing. About half of Democrats (52%) and a third of Republicans say the riots received the right amount of attention.
The study reveals that the public expresses more concern than Islamic or Christian extremism about the possible incitement of violence in the country by far-right and leftist extremism. About half of US adults say right-wing extremism (52%) and left-wing extremism (51%) are the main problems in the country. Less than four in ten say violent extremism in the name of Islam (37%) or Christianity (34%) is a big problem.
Republicans and Democrats are widely divided over which political wing represents the greater threat. About three-quarters (73%) of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said far-rightism is a big problem, while a similar share of Republicans and Republican tendencies (76%) say the same about left-wing extremism. Only about three (31%) of Democrats say extreme leftism is a big problem, and 29% of Republicans say it is about far-rightism.
Also, Republicans (49%) are more likely than Democrats (28%) to say that extremism in the name of Islam is a big problem. Conversely, there is an excess in the name of Christianity: 48% of Democrats said it was a big problem, while 16% of Republicans said.
Reactions after the 6 January Congress Building riot
Amid the ongoing investigations and congressional hearings into the riots that took place in the US Capitol on January 6, three in ten adults (27%) say little attention has been paid to the riots and their effects. A similar share (28%) said there was a lot of attention to events in the Capitol, while a majority of 44% said the riots received the right amount of attention.
There are differences in these views according to race, partisanship and ideology. 44% of white adults say the right amount of attention was paid after the Capitol riots. Roughly one-third (34%) said too much focus on riots, while a smaller share (21%) said little attention.
On the contrary, Black adults are much more likely to say that little attention was paid to riots and their aftermath: 49% of Black adults said too little, only 8% said too much focus on rebellion.
This racial divide in attitudes is also evident among Democrats and Democratically oriented adults. While the majority of White Democrats said the right amount of attention was paid after the riots (58%), a smaller proportion of Black Democrats said the same thing (43%). In fact, more Black Democrats say little attention was paid to the riots (50% of Black Democrats, 37% of White Democrats).
The majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning people say too much attention has been paid to the rebellion and its effects (54%). Republicans, unlike Democrats, are divided along ideological lines: 61% of Conservative Republicans said the rebellion and its aftermath attracted much attention, while 43% of moderate and liberal Republicans said.
Most Democrats across the ideological spectrum say there is just the right amount of focus on the Capitol riots and their effects.
While there is broad consensus among demographic groups that finding and prosecuting those who entered the US Capital on January 6 is at least somewhat important for federal law enforcement agencies, it is a priority for these groups. The majority say they rely on federal law enforcement to find and prosecute those involved, while relatively small shares express great confidence that they can do so.
About eight or more out of every ten adults in demographic groups in general say it is at least somewhat important for federal law enforcement to find those responsible for the Capitol violation (87% in total).
There are racial, ethnic and partisan differences in these views. Black adults say it is very important for federal law enforcement to punish those involved (87%); Smaller shares of White (66%), Hispanic (69%) and Asian adults (67%) say the same thing.
There is also a huge gap between Republicans and Democrats over the importance of finding and prosecuting those involved in the riots. Only 50% of Republicans say it is very important to find and prosecute those responsible. In contrast, 86% of Democrats say the same thing.
Among adults who said it was at least somewhat important to find and prosecute those who entered the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 69% express at least fair confidence in federal law enforcement to find and prosecute those responsible for the Capitol violation. . The relatively small shares of these adults express a high level of confidence (20% overall).
This pattern is also true of the Democrats and the Democratic weak, who say it is important to judge those who enter it. About eight (79%) of White Democrats expressed confidence in federal law enforcement to bring Capitol rebels to justice, while only 63% of Black Democrats say the same.
Looking back at Trump’s dismissal and acquittal
About a month after former President Donald Trump was acquitted in the second Senate impeachment case that focused on his behavior that led to the U.S. Capitol riot, just over half (52%) of Americans said Trump’s behavior was wrong and should do. Convicted by the Senate. About three in ten say their behavior is not wrong and should not be blamed, while 15% say their behavior is wrong but should not be convicted by the Senate.
Just as Republicans and Democrats disagreed over whether Trump was responsible for the uprising in the Capitol in early January, partisans see the consequences of the impeachment case in very different ways.
About two-thirds (65%) of Republicans and GOP liars say Trump’s behavior is not wrong and should not be dismissed by the House of Representatives. Almost a quarter (23%) said his behavior was wrong, but the senators shouldn’t have voted to convict him. And only 11% of Republicans say their behavior is wrong and should be convicted by the Senate.
On the contrary, the overwhelming majority of Democrats and Democrats (87%) say Trump’s behavior is wrong and that the Senate should vote to convict him. Only 9% say their behavior is wrong but should not be convicted; And 4% say their behavior is not wrong.
Although Republicans and Democrats have expressed dissenting views on various aspects of the January 6 uprising in the US Capitol, there are sharp divisions among Republicans on these issues. Republicans, who voiced the view that Trump was the rightful winner of the 2020 presidential election in January, is far more likely than those who say Biden won the 2020 election to see the revolt exaggerated and the dismissal of Trump unjustified.
In January 2021, when asked which candidate won the 2020 presidential election, 64% of Republicans and Republican-leaning people said that Trump definitely (33%) or possibly (31%) received the most votes cast by eligible voters in enough states to win the presidency. told. selection. Only a third (34%) correctly said Biden was the right winner.
Republicans who say Trump definitely or probably won the election earlier this year are almost twice as likely to say Biden now certainly or possibly won (35% of Republicans who say Biden won) who say the riots in the Capitol have attracted a lot of attention. . Similarly, 62% of Republicans who said Biden won now say it was very important for federal law enforcement to find and prosecute those who entered the U.S. Capital on January 6, while less than half of Republicans who said Trump won now say they have been sued. very important.
This pattern is also evident in the views on the punishments the rebels will receive. Republicans who said Biden won in the previous poll were significantly less likely than Republicans who said that Trump began to think that the rebels’ penalties would be heavier than they should have been (27% vs. 45%, respectively).
One of the biggest gaps that separates the Republicans who said Trump won and Republicans who said Biden won are their views on Trump’s dismissal as a result of his behavior that led to the events on January 6: 82% of Republicans who said Trump won the election. si said that his behavior was not wrong and that the Assembly should not vote to accuse him. This is compared to just 26% of Republicans who say Biden won the 2020 election.
Violent extremism views
When it comes to the possibility of violent extremism in the country, Americans are more likely to say that political extremism is a bigger problem than other forms of extremism inspired by religion.
About half of the population say that right-wing extremism is a big problem (52%), another third say it’s a minor problem and 12% say it’s not a problem. The general public opinion of left-wing extremism is similar: 51% say it is a big problem, 34% say it is a minor problem and 13% say it is not a problem.
The posts saying that extremism inspired by Islam or Christianity are big problems are much lower. Slightly less than four in ten adults (37%) said Islam-inspired extremism was a big problem, while 44% said it was a minor problem and 16% said it was okay. About a third (34%) of Americans say extremism is a big problem in the name of Christianity, 35% say it’s a minor problem and 29% say it’s okay.
While many more Republicans see left extremism as a bigger problem than right-wing extremism – and vice versa – true for Democrats – the vast majority in both parties say right and left extremism are big or small problems.
Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, only about three in ten (29%) say violent far-rightism is a big problem for the country, but about half (49%) say it is a minor problem. Only two out of ten people say it’s not a problem.
Views between Democrats and Democratic left-wing extremism trends follow a similar pattern: about three in ten (31%) say extreme left violence is a big problem, about half say it is a minor problem (48%) and only 19% say it is not. says.
Both Republicans and Democrats acknowledge that violent extremism inspired by Islam is at least a minor issue in the country (88% of Republicans and 78% of Democrats say this). However, Republicans are more likely to see Islamic extremism as a major problem than Democrats (28% of Democrats versus 49% of Republicans).
They also differ on whether Christian-inspired extremism is a problem for the country: 83% of Democrats say Christian extremism is at least a minor problem (48% say it’s a big problem), but only half of Republicans (51% say it’s a big problem) ) say it’s at least a minor problem (only 16% say it’s a big problem). About half (47%) of Republicans say that extremism in the name of Christianity is not a problem in the country today.
There are ideological differences on both sides in attitudes regarding the threat posed by violent extremism. For example, more liberal Democrats (83%) than conservative and moderate Democrats (66%) say far-rightism is a big problem. In contrast, conservative Republicans are more inclined to say that left extremism is a big problem than moderate and liberal Republicans.
Moderates and liberals in the GOP also view more right-wing extremism (39% to 23%) as a bigger problem than conservative Republicans. And both conservative and moderate Democrats are moving away from their party’s liberals in far-left views (41% of conservative and moderate Democrats say this is a big problem against 18% of liberals).
There are similar patterns in their views on religious extremism among ideological groups – but the differences are generally smaller. Less moderate and liberal Republicans than Conservative Republicans say that extremism in the name of Islam is a big problem (42% versus 53%), and more importantly, Christian-inspired extremism is a big problem (12% versus 23%). Patterns among Democrats are similar but reversed: Less conservative and moderate Democrats than Liberal Democrats say Christian extremists are a big problem (59% versus 38%), but more moderate and liberal Democrats say Islamist extremists are a big problem (21%).
QAnon information and supporters’ feedback
Most Americans (61%) report that they know at least something about the QAnon conspiracy theories, while about four out of ten (39%) say they “don’t know anything” about them. Few adults in the US say they know “a lot” (3%), while 29% say they know “a little” and not “too much” to share the same.
Democrats and independents (68%) who focus on the Democratic Party are more likely to say they know something about QAnon conspiracy theories than Republicans and Republican tendencies (54%). About half of the Republicans (45%) say they know nothing about themselves; About three of the ten Democrats (31%) say the same thing.
Liberal Democrats – reporting the highest level of knowledge about QAnon. Half (7%) or some (44%) of Liberal Democrats know a lot about it, and 28% say they do not know much. The next most knowledgeable groups are conservative and moderate Democrats (61% know something, 32% know something) and conservative Republicans (60% know something, including 25% more or less). The least knowledgeable partisans are Republicans with moderate or liberal political views – the majority in this group say they know nothing about these conspiracy theories (54%) and less than a quarter or some (22%) know a lot.
Few Americans who know at least something about QAnon have positive views of the people who support conspiracy theories. Only 13% of those who know QAnon have positive opinions about their supporters, while 84% have negative views (including 60% of those who have very negative views).
Those who say their views on the QAnon supporters are positive are concentrated among Republicans and Republican independents. About a quarter of Republicans who know about QAnon say they see their supporters favorably (24%) – but only 5% say their opinion is very positive, while 19% say it is somehow positive. Less than a tenth (6%) of the Democratic and Democratic weaknesses have positive views of QAnon’s supporters.
Most Republicans and Democrats say that while Democrats are harsher in their judgment, they look negatively at the people who support these conspiracy theories. 82% of Democrats who know about QAnon say they have very negative views of fans compared to 28% who share this view. About four out of ten Republicans (42%) who knew QAnon had slightly negative views of QAnon’s supporters; 12% of Democrats say the same thing.