WASHINGTON – Nearly 4 in 10 Americans feel Donald Trump was "directly responsible" for the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, but 3 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 Jan. 6 committee was supposed to return to public hearings Wednesday at 1 p.m. after a two-month break. The hearing was postponed because of Hurricane Ian. A new date was not announced.
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%) believes the government is sound, up from 36% amid the June hearings, according to the poll.
Feelings about the inquiry remain mixed. One in 4 Americans (25%) said the House investigation has strengthened democracy, but one-third (34%) said the inquiry has weakened democrac,y 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%) believe the election was fair, but a persistent minority (29%) believe Biden won as a result of 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 say Trump was either "directly responsible" (38%) or "encouraged those involved" (25%), according to the poll. But one third (33%) say 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.
Democrats were most in favor of continuing hearings (83%), and 62% say it should take as long as needed, according to the poll. But nearly two thirds of Republicans (65%) opposed resuming hearings, and three quarters (75%) wanted the investigation concluded as soon as possible, according to the poll. Among independents, 60% wanted more hearings, but half (53%) wanted to conclude the inquiry soon.
"Independents say they want to see more from the committee, but also wrap this up soon," Murray said.
The telephone poll of 806 adults was conducted Sept. 21 to 25. Each result has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
Contributing: Sean Rossman
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Half of Americans support Jan. 6 hearings, but want end 'soon': poll