Study: Jan. 6 hearings had virtually no effect on public sentiment

by Jacob Fuller

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


A recent study by Monmouth University offered the strongest indicator to date that the January 6 hearings conducted by House Democrats, and two Republicans, had virtually no effect in the court of public opinion and, by one important measure, produced the opposite result than the committee intended.

Monmouth’s Polling Institute released its results this week and, by virtually every indicator, Americans had already made up their minds on Jan. 6, 2020, and the culpability of former President Donald J. Trump.

The centerpiece of the institute’s research was a series of seven questions posed to respondents from June 23-27, as the hearings were ongoing, and after the last scheduled hearing.

By the time the numerous public hearings (some called them productions and others kangaroo court proceedings) reached their alleged end — the committee continues to work and could announce additional hearings — fewer respondents (38%) viewed Trump as personally responsible than did (42%) prior to the first hearing.

In terms of Trump’s presidential prospects, 4-in-10 Americans, the same number as before the hearing, said they would support Trump were he to run again in 2024.

The results seem to have surprised researchers.

“The sensational revelations during the hearings do not seem to have moved the public opinion needle on Trump’s culpability for either the riot or his spurious election fraud claims,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement. “This continues to give political cover to Republican leaders who avoid addressing the damage done to our democratic processes that day.”

Slightly fewer respondents, 64% compared to 65%, viewed the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as a riot, but more, 52% compared to 50%, viewed the events as an insurrection. However, 35% of respondents viewed the events of Jan. 6 as a legitimate form of protest.

An equal number of respondents, 29%, said they felt President Joe Biden won the 2020 election by means of voter fraud, and the same number of respondents, 23% before and after the hearings, said they were paying close attention to the committee’s work.

Most telling, only 8% of respondents said the hearings had changed their minds, compared to 6% who said this early in the process.

“When we released our June poll, I said the committee was preaching to the choir,” Murray said. “These current results suggest they haven’t recruited any new singers since then.”

For Trump, the results were far from a ringing endorsement by the nation as a whole. More than 50% of respondents said they viewed Trump unfavorably.

But, among Republicans, the former president is as popular as ever. Eighty percent of Republican respondents hold a positive view of Trump, which squares with the success many, though not all, Trump-backed candidates have had in primaries.

“As we have seen from the success of Trump-endorsed candidates in recent primaries, he continues to hold sway over a large portion of the Republican base,” Murray said. “That doesn’t necessarily make him a shoo-in for the nomination in 2024, but he remains a formidable presence.”

Trump has not announced his candidacy for 2024. He might hold off on announcing his intentions until after his numerous legal battles have ended or become less prevalent.