Nearly seven-in-ten adults (69%) say they have heard “a lot” about the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when, following a protest earlier in the day, supporters of Donald Trump broke into the Capitol building while the Senate and House were in the process of certifying Electoral College votes. An additional 28% say they have heard “a little” about this event.
While overwhelming shares in both parties report having heard at least a little about the riot, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they have heard a lot about it. Nearly eight-in-ten Democrats and Democratic leaners (79%) say they have heard a lot, compared with about six-in-ten Republicans and Republican leaners (61%).
Most Americans say Trump bears at least some responsibility for the violence and destruction committed by some of his supporters at the Capitol. About half (52%) say Trump bears a lot of responsibility, while an additional 23% say he bears some responsibility. About one-quarter (24%) say he bears no responsibility for the riot.
Republicans are split over whether Trump is responsible for these actions by some of his supporters: 52% say that Trump bears a lot (18%) or some (34%) responsibility; 46% say he bears no responsibility at all.
Among Democrats, an overwhelming majority (95%) say Trump bears at least some responsibility for the violence and destruction, including about eight-in-ten (81%) who say he bears a lot of responsibility.
Opinions on whether Trump bears responsibility for the rioting at the Capitol are closely related to voters’ views on who won the election. Among the majority of voters who say Joe Biden definitely won the 2020 presidential election, 89% say that Donald Trump bears a lot of responsibility for the violence and destruction. And a majority of voters who say Biden probably won the election say Trump either has a lot (26%) or some (56%) responsibility for these events.
However, the minority of voters who incorrectly say Trump probably or definitely won the election are much more likely to say that Trump bears no responsibility for the violence and destruction at the Capitol. Nearly half of those who say Trump probably won (48%) say that he bears no responsibility for the rioting, while 44% say he bears at least some responsibility. Among voters who say Trump definitely won, eight-in-ten say he bears no responsibility for the violence and destruction.
Trump’s future as a major U.S. political figure
By more than two-to-one (68% to 29%), Americans say that after Biden’s inauguration, they would not like to see Trump continue as a major national political figure for years to come.
A 57% majority of all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents want Trump to remain a major figure, while 40% do not. But there is a wide divide between conservative Republicans and moderate and liberal Republicans when it comes to Trump’s future role. About two-thirds of conservative Republicans (68%) say they would like to see Trump continue as a major figure, but fewer than half (41%) of moderate and liberal Republicans say this.
More than nine-in-ten Democrats (93%) say they would not like to see Trump continue to be a major national political figure.