A majority of Americans say they expect a repeat of last year's Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in the next two years, only half say they have faith in the nation's democracy, and the percentage who believe President Joe Biden was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election has declined in the last year, according to a new Axios-Momentive poll.
"It's dispiriting to see that this shocking thing we all witnessed last year hasn't changed people's perceptions," said Laura Wronski, senior manager for research science at Momentive, according to Axios, which reported on the Axios-Momentive poll that was released Wednesday, the day before the first anniversary of the incidents at the Capitol.
Wronski added that Biden either "hasn't done enough" to change people's minds or that he "never had a chance. The partisan division is still the story."
The poll shows 55% accepts that Biden won the presidential election, down 3 points from the Momentive poll conducted a year ago, just before the Senate was to confirm the election results. The previous poll showed 58% believed Biden was the legitimate winner.
In other findings:
- About 57% of Americans, including half of the Republicans polled and 7 out of 10 Democrats, said they fear more events similar to the Jan. 6 attack will happen again in the next few years.
- 63% say the attack changed how Americans think about the nation's democracy. Half said the change has been made permanent, but the others said the changes are temporary.
- 58% support the work the House's Jan. 6 select committee is doing, but those numbers were divided by a huge partisan gap, with 88% of Democrats in support; 58% of independents; and 32% of Republicans.
- 56% said they support the Jan. 6 committee's ability to subpoena testimony and documents, and 51% said they support imposing prison sentences on witnesses who refuse to cooperate. Those numbers also marked a strong divide between Democrats and Republicans.
Meanwhile, 37% of the people who were surveyed said they lost faith in American democracy; 10% said they never had faith; and 49% said they do have faith.
Of those, 47% of Republicans said they lost faith and 28% of Democrats said they still have faith. Axios noted that the response appeared to have more to do with Biden, a Democrat, being in the White House rather than the continued defiance from former President Donald Trump.
Republicans were also three to four times more likely than Democrats to believe voter fraud is a problem in their states, and older Americans were more concerned about the fate of democracy than the younger people responding to the survey:
- 19% said democracy is the issue that matters most, above the economy or health care, with 31% of Democrats and 14% of Republicans agreeing.
- 8% of respondents younger than 35 said that democracy was their major concern, but 41% of those 65 and older agreed.
In addition, Democrats, at 79%, said the government functions better when more people vote, compared to 46% of Republicans. However, Republicans were two to three times more likely to say that what is more important is that the "right people" vote.
The poll was conducted online from Jan. 1-3 of 2,649 adults, with the sample taken from the more than 2 million people taking surveys on Momentive's platform daily. The margin of error was plus or minus 2 percentage points.
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