by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Terry Jones of Issues and Insights reports on Americans’ responses to the latest partisan circus on Capitol Hill.
The Jan. 6 hearings mark the third major investigation into former President Donald Trump’s time in office. To many people, in particular Republicans, these investigations have looked suspiciously politicized, especially the most recent hearings. What’s surprising is that a large share of Democrats agree, the latest I&I/TIPP Poll results show.
Republicans have been front and center in criticizing the Jan. 6 hearings as little more than a political circus intended to besmirch Trump.
Even the makeup of the “bipartisan” committee has come in for ridicule, since the two GOP members of the nine-member panel were handpicked by the Democrats — contrary to the common practice of having a party select its own representatives. This wasn’t helped by the fact that the two GOP members, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, are both vociferous critics of Trump and voted for his impeachment.
But is the deck really stacked against the controversial former president? Republicans give a resounding “yes.” But most surprising of all, many, if not most, Democrats agree.
In the July 2022 online I&I/TIPP Poll, we asked 1,643 adults across the country whether they agreed with the following two statements:
1. “Some say that the Jan. 6 committee was handpicked and represents only Democrats’ points of view.”
2. “Some say that the Jan. 6 committee’s main aim is to ensure President Trump can’t run in 2024.”
For the first statement, a clear plurality of 46% agreed that the Jan. 6 panel had been “handpicked” to represent Democrats views, versus 35% who disagreed.
But the political breakdown for the poll, which has a margin of error of +/-2.5 percentage points, gets interesting.
No shock that Republicans agree with the statement overwhelmingly, by 64% (agree) to 22% (disagree). But even among Democrats, 43% agreed the Jan. 6 committee shows a pro-Democrat bias, versus 44% who disagreed. That’s within the poll’s margin of error.
Independents were likewise evenly split, 38% to 38%.