(Bloomberg) -- A new poll finds 41% of Americans favor charging former President Donald Trump with crimes related to last year’s assault on the US Capitol.
The Monmouth University poll, however, reveals a sharp partisan divide. It found that 78% of Democrats favor charging Trump while 71% of Republicans oppose that. Overall, 34% of the respondents are against charging him and another 25% are unsure.
The survey results come as a House committee investigating the insurrection and Trump’s culpability has scheduled another public hearing on Wednesday, with an interim report of its conclusions planned for October. But the new survey raises doubts about the panel’s impact on public views about Trump and the riot.
The poll also comes as federal and state investigations are under way that could potentially lead to criminal charges against Trump, ranging from his handling of classified documents to tying him to efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, including in Georgia. There is also a lawsuit by New York Attorney General Leticia James, accusing Trump of fraud in overvaluing his real-estate assets in the state.
The survey found 38% of the public says Trump is directly responsible for what happened on Jan. 6, while 25% feel Trump encouraged those involved but is not directly responsible, and 33% feel he has done nothing wrong.
But the Monmouth pollsters conclude the House committee -- and the eight televised public hearings it held from June 9 to July 21 -- has not strongly influenced these and other views.
The results are basically the same as from polling done in the middle of the committee’s eight summer hearings and after they ended in July. More striking, views about Trump’s so-called “big lie” -- that President Joe Biden only won due to voter fraud -- remains largely unchanged since the November 2020 election itself, the pollsters report.
Currently, 29% of Americans hold the belief that Biden only won due to voter fraud, the poll shows. This number has hovered between 29% and 32% since the presidential election. Among Republicans, 61% continue to hold this view.
Overall, 50% of Americans believe the country’s system of government is now basically sound, which the pollsters describe as a “rebound” to pre-2021 levels. That number had dipped to 36% in June, after the House committee started holding public hearings.
Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey, said in a statement it’s not clear what caused the rebound.
“It may be that Americans feel confident in our democratic processes after withstanding the test of Jan. 6,” he said. “Or it could simply be they are no longer thinking about those dangers without the weekly presence of televised hearings.”
The poll surveyed 806 adults by telephone from Sept. 21 to 25. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
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