Beyond Politics: What Americans Are Thinking About the Insurrection, the Big Lie, and Trump

In the aftermath of the insurrection of January 6th, 2021, it appeared for a moment that Donald Trump’s effort to cast the 2020 election as illegitimate and to overturn the results of that election had come to an end. While 140 Republican members of Congress did vote to overturn the results – literally in the midst of the damage around them in the capitol – Republican leaders ultimately expressed acceptance of the election and a rejection of the insurrection. It seemed like there was a chance that this was an issue that Americans might generally come together on.

But in the year since the opposite has happened. American’s attitudes about that day and everything that led up to it shifted almost immediately, and fell into familiar partisan patterns, yet shocking in the face of the violence that day and the revelations about it since then. And in the past two weeks leading up to the anniversary of the insurrection, a number of polls have returned with alarming results about how Americans view the last election and the violence at the Capitol.

One of the best of these polls comes from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The associate director of that poll is Jesse Rhodes. He’s a Professor of Political Science, author of three books and numerous scholarly articles, and he’s here to tell us all about his findings.