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A year after the Capitol insurrection, faith in democracy wanes

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File Photo by: zz/John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2021 1/6/21
The United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. was breached by thousands of protesters during a

A year after a mob of people stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the formal certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory, Americans’ faith in the country’s electoral process and its democracy writ large have only fallen. Large swaths of the electorate still think that the 2020 election was rigged, and over the last year, a modest number of people have indeed lost confidence in the fairness of that election, according to a new U.S. study.

Lazer is part of a team of researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers universities that comprise the Covid States Project. The team conducted a survey of public sentiment immediately after the Jan. 6 insurrection in 2021, and issued a follow-up study a year later. The researchers surveyed 15,269 people in the U.S. across all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., between Dec. 22, 2021, and Jan. 5, 2022. What they found reveals stark differences between Democrats and Republicans, as well as a drop in Americans’ faith in its political institutions overall.

Over the last year, Republicans and independents became more ambivalent about the Capitol riot—opposition to the event dropped by 11 percentage points among members of the GOP and by 8 percentage points among independents, but held steady among Democrats.

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