One Year After the Capitol Riot, Many Americans See US Democracy in Peril 

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A new NPR/Ipsos poll, conducted nearly a year after the January 6th incident at the U.S. Capitol, finds that Americans hold mixed views on how to characterize the events that unfolded that day – views that are driven primarily by partisan affiliation and news consumption.

Moreover, more than one-fifth of the American public agrees that it is sometimes okay to engage in violence, either to protect American democracy or our culture and values. Though many items in this survey underscore the deep political and cultural divisions that exist, one thing is clear: most say American democracy, and America itself, is in crisis and at risk of failing.

A strong majority of Americans are feeling pessimistic about the state of the country, feeling it is in crisis.

Around two-thirds of Americans accept the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. However, around a third believe there was fraudulent voting in the election, and another fifth say they are unsure – meaning under half of respondents unequivocally state there was no, or very little, fraudulent voting in the election.

Few Americans are very familiar with the efforts of Republican states legislatures to re-work the mechanisms of elections and when read a short description, more say those efforts will make elections less fair rather than more. On the other hand, several of the measures included in Democrats’ national voting rights plans are broadly viewed as more positive developments.

A file photo of National Guard soldiers with riot shields head to the Capitol Visitors Center after being deployed to secure the grounds around the US Capitol building in Washington, DC, USA, 13 January 2021. EPA-EFE/SAMUEL CORUM

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