The United States will forever remember January 6 of last year, when a mob of then-President Donald Trump's extremist supporters stormed the United States Capitol in a deadly insurrection, shattering windows, ransacking offices, beating police officers, and calling for the execution of any lawmaker perceived to be disloyal to Trump.
The attack was the culmination of Trump's and other Republican lawmakers' months long smear campaign falsely insisting that the 2020 presidential election was "stolen" from the GOP. That insurrection disrupted the joint congressional session to nationally certify then-President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
Hours later, when the Capitol was finally cleared and the proceedings began to continue, it seemed like a tide had shifted. Republican Senators like Kelly Loeffler of Georgia withdrew their intentions to back objections to electoral votes in swing states Trump lost. Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky condemned Trump's role in inciting the insurrection.
In the year since, Republicans have repeatedly worked to downplay the severity of the attack, likening insurrectionists to "tourists" and condemning congressional efforts to investigate the origins and events of that day.
And a concerning new poll from Morning Consult indicates that approach may be working.
The Republican Party’s Image Has Recovered From the Fallout of Jan. 6https://t.co/BZp4GxCIoG pic.twitter.com/SCcyIe02qu
— Catherine Rampell (@crampell) January 2, 2022
Months before the riots and before Trump lost the 2020 election in November, 32 percent of voters believed the Republican party was headed in the right direction. In the aftermath of the January 6 attack, that number plummeted to 24 percent.
Now, a year after the riots, 34 percent of voters believe the GOP is on the right path—two points higher than before the election.
That's not the only information worth taking from the poll, which sampled two thousand registered voters late last month.
Three in five voters still believe Trump and his election lies bear the most responsibility for the attack, and far fewer Independent and Republican voters believe that the insurrection had a "major impact" on their world view.
The results disturbed those who want to see the Republican party held accountable for its continued embrace of election fraud hysteria.
The fact that there’s anyone who thinks it’s ok to vote for Republicans for any office anywhere at any level of the ballot is a pretty damning indictment of this country https://t.co/QziDwfrJ3z
— Jeb! Fain (@JebFain) January 3, 2022
Republicans never get a comeuppance. Even if they sometimes lose the WH or Congress for a spell it’s never fatal. Nothing ever makes them do anything other than double down. Nothing. https://t.co/AI5FsGOBMa
— Beragon (@Beragon) January 3, 2022
This is no where near a surprise. American, republican hate is undefeated & reoublicans stoke it like no other. https://t.co/M0ouDnkUKn
— Yes It's ME! Dame 💯 🇺🇲 (@YesItsM97576245) January 3, 2022
It's extremely dubious whether the American people deserve to live in a democracy.
If we won't defend it against open, violent overthrow we don't deserve it. https://t.co/PryDOzNdHD
— John Pettus (@JohnGPettus) January 2, 2022
People tried to find entities to blame, from the GOP to Democrats to media.
No thanks to the morning news shows, and most of the MSM’s despicable inventory of “Not Necessarily The News” programs.
Take a bow, folks. https://t.co/GVHDk9fT7X
— 𝑺𝒉𝒐𝒒 (@Shoq) January 2, 2022
The Republican Party around the country has gotten far more openly extreme since January 6th. This data reflects the complete and continued incompetency of Democrats to put together any sort of effective communication strategy about literally anything. https://t.co/5TFyM5wfeV
— drake (@beygency) January 2, 2022
Have been listening to conservative talk radio a considerable amount since I've been at my mom's place the last two weeks and they seem to have carved out the perfect balance between "it was bad and should never happen again" and "no one needs to be held accountable though" https://t.co/wnhUmwjeAl
— Celebrity Respecter (@GCRLPlayer) January 2, 2022
It's unclear how polls like this will affect the Democratic party's strategy with less than a year before midterm elections.