January 10, 2023 - 4:00pm

Just as America marks its two-year Jan 6 anniversary (and as Brazil makes sense of its own imitation on Jan 8th), a new poll has found that 20% of Americans now approve of the Capitol takeover. This marks an 11-percentage point increase from two years ago, when just 9% said they strongly or somewhat approved of the takeover.

That 20% of Americans — equivalent to one-fifth of the country — show some degree of approval for the Jan 6 takeover is an increase of last year’s finding (14%) and the year of the event, when it was only 9% approval.

Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans that disapprove of the takeover has fallen from 81% in 2021 to 64% today, while those who approve rises across all categories other than independents, even including Democrats. 

Credit: YouGov

YouGov finds that approval of the Capitol takeover increased by 13 percentage points among Democrats (from 3% to 16%) and views on the extent of Trump’s involvement have dropped from 76% believing that Trump bore a lot of responsibility to 69% today.

Explanations for this shift could include Jan 6 fatigue (polling was taken after the Jan 6 committee released its final report on 22nd December), receding memory of Trump, and increasing dissatisfaction with the current President. But given that views over Trump’s responsibility have remained at a static 39-40% over the past three years, is something else going on?

It might be possible to interpret these figures in the broader context of a growing loss of faith in all institutions across America, which only accelerated in the aftermath of Covid. From the church to the military to Congress itself, all have dropped precipitously. The rising approval of the Jan 6 takeover is the mirror of these trends.

is UnHerd’s Newsroom editor.