What Americans Really Think About Jan. 6

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A majority of Americans fear that another event like the January 6, 2021 uprising on the U.S. Capitol could happen again in the coming years, according to recent polling, laying bare widespread anxieties about polarization and divisiveness in politics.

Redfield & Wilton Strategies surveyed 1,500 adults in the U.S. on December 19 for Newsweek. The results showed that more people think the full truth about what happened has not been made public than who does. This comes at a time when politicians are still talking about the role of law enforcement in the uprising.


Three years later, the results show that January 6 is still a date that many Americans think about a lot. They may see it as the start of a new age of social unrest and mistrust of public organizations.

“Americans are clearly much more concerned about political violence after January 6,” Julie Norman, a professor of U.S. politics at University College London (UCL), told Newsweek. “Even nearly three years on, many Americans perceive that polarization and political divides are just as deep, if not deeper, than they were in the last election. And the fact that we are looking at a likely repeat of contenders with a probable Biden-Trump matchup only exacerbates fears of potential upheaval.”

President Joe Biden promised after Donald Trump left office to “not divide, but unite” the country, but it could be argued that he has not kept that promise. A poll of 8,480 people by the Pew Research Center from July 10–16 found that Americans are more divided than ever before. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed said they were tired, and 55 percent said they were mad about U.S. politics.


Since both men are currently leading their primary campaigns, the 2024 election is likely to be a repeat of the 2020 election, which Trump continues to say was rigged even though there has been no official investigation to back this claim.

As Americans go to the polls again, two different stories are likely to appear, each saying the other is false. Trump has already said that he thinks the 2024 election could also be hacked, and some people are trying to get his name taken off the vote because of what they say he did on January 6. All of these things could cause disagreement and mistrust in the political system, which could lead to a crisis.

In this situation, the Newsweek study found that 56% of Americans think something like what happened on January 6 could happen again, while only 13% thought it was impossible.

On the other hand, 68% said Trump would say Biden cheated if he lost, while 51% said Biden would say the same thing if he lost. About 63 percent of people thought that there would be some kind of riots after the 2024 election. More people thought that if Trump won than if Biden won.

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