WASHINGTON - Nearly four in 10 Americans feel Donald Trump was "directly responsible" for the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, but three in 10 believe President Joe Biden's 2020 election victory was fraudulent despite the lack of evidence, according to a poll released Tuesday.
The results of the Monmouth University Poll revealed a persistent and polarized division across the country in reaction to the attack and the House investigation into its causes and results.
A majority of Americans surveyed last week wanted the committee investigating the attack to resume hearings. The next hearing is scheduled Wednesday.
But confidence in the government ebbed to a low point during the heart of hearings in June and has since rebounded slightly. About half the country (50%) thinks the government is sound, up from 36% amid the June hearings, according to the poll.
Feelings about the inquiry remain mixed. One in four Americans (25%) said the House investigation strengthened democracy, but one-third (34%) said the inquiry weakened democracy and another third (35%) said it had no impact, according to the poll.
"It may be that Americans feel confident in our democratic processes after withstanding the test of Jan. 6, or it could simply be they are no longer thinking about those dangers without the weekly presence of televised hearings," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Belief in what Democrats call "the big lie" that Biden stole the election from Trump have remained steady for months. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) think the election was fair, but a persistent minority (29%) think Biden won due to voter fraud.
Numerous public officials at federal and state levels investigated election results and found no widespread fraud, including Trump aides such as former Attorney General Bill Barr.
In a similar vein, opinion remains divided over Trump's responsibility for the riot. More than half of Americans think Trump was either "directly responsible" (38%) or "encouraged those involved" (25%), according to the poll. But one-third (33%) think Trump did nothing wrong, according to the poll. The portion finding him "directly responsible" declined from 42% amid the hearings in June.
Patience for the House investigation is wearing thin - and breaks along partisan lines, according to the poll.
A majority of Americans (58%) think the committee should resume hearings, but half (51%) also say the inquiry should wrap up "as soon as possible," according to the poll.