Nearly three-quarters of U.S. voters say democracy is under threat in the wake of a deadly mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to a new poll by Quinnipiac University.
The national poll of registered U.S. voters released Monday found that large numbers of both Republican and Democratic voters believed that democracy is under threat, at 77% and 76% respectively. Independents were slightly less inclined to agree at 70%.
A majority of voters, 56%, said they held U.S. President Donald Trump responsible for the storming of the U.S. Capitol last week, while 42% said they did not hold him responsible.
Trump urged thousands of his supporters to march to the Capitol during a January 6 rally near the White House where, as he had for weeks, he leveled unfounded accusations that he was cheated out of reelection. After his supporters stormed the Capitol, Trump tweeted for them to “stay peaceful” and “support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement” but also told them in a video, "We love you, you're very special."
A majority of voters, 52% to 45%, said Trump should be removed from office before he leaves the White House on January 20. However, when broken down by party, the overwhelming majority of Republicans, 87%, thought Trump should not be removed from office, while the overwhelming majority of Democrats, 89%, believed he should. Independents were more evenly split, with 55% favoring removal, and 43% against it.
Voters were also split by party on whether or not there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, as Trump has claimed. Republicans said 73% to 21% that there was widespread voter fraud, while Democrats said 93% to 5% that there was not. Independents said 60% to 30% that they do not believe there was widespread voter fraud.
Voters were split on whether they considered the storming of the Capitol an attempted coup. Forty-seven percent said they thought it was a coup attempt, 43% said they did not, and another 10% were not sure.
On several questions, voters were nearly united, including on the view that the individuals who stormed the Capitol should be held accountable, with 91% of respondents agreeing.
Voters also widely agreed, 81% to 12%, that extremism is a big problem in the United States.
“There’s no ambivalence on how to treat the mobs that breached the Capitol, and there is nearly the same level of alarm from Republicans and Democrats over extremism establishing a troubling foothold,” said Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy in a press release.
Looking ahead to the presidency of President-elect Joe Biden, only 31% of voters believe Biden will be able to unite the country while 56% said they expect partisan divisions to remain the same as they are now. Fourteen percent said they were not sure.
The poll surveyed 1,239 registered voters nationwide from January 7 to 10.