54% of Republicans said they believe the Capitol insurrection is getting too much attention, a new Pew survey shows

  • Over half of Republicans — 54% — said they think the Capitol riots are getting too much attention. 
  • 40% of Democrats said they think too little attention is being paid to the siege, a Pew poll found.
  • Democrats and Republicans also differed on the importance of prosecuting the rioters. 
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Over half of Republicans and Republican-leaning adults said they believe the Capitol riots are getting too much attention, according to a new Pew Research Center survey on Americans’ views on the January 6 insurrection. 

In the poll, 54% of Republicans said they think too much attention is being paid to the riots, while 33% said they think the right amount of attention is paid and 11% thought that too little attention is being paid.

Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning respondents, 40% think too little attention is being paid to the deadly violence and only 8% think the riots are receiving too much attention. 

And among all Americans surveyed, 27% think too little attention is being paid to the riots, 44% said they think about the right amount of attention is being paid to them, and 28% believe too much attention is being paid.

Read more: Inside Merrick Garland’s bid to boost morale in the federal prosecutor’s office handling the January 6th Capitol riot cases, one of the largest investigations in US history

Pew surveyed over 12,000 American adults through their American Trends Panel between March 1 and March 7 to gauge their views on the Capitol insurrection over two months after the event. The survey has a margin of error of ±1.5 percentage points. 

There were also partisan divides among the respondents on questions of how important it is to prosecute the rioters and whether they believe punishments will be too severe or not severe enough.

Among all Americans, 87% said they believe it’s very or somewhat important to prosecute the rioters, compared to 79% of Republicans and 95% of Democrats. 

Additionally, 37% of Republicans but only 10% of Democrats said the penalties they expect the rioters to receive will be more severe “than they should be,” while 65% of Democrats but only 26% of Republicans said they believe the rioters will receive less severe punishments than they should. 

More than 315 people have been charged in connection with the insurrection on the US Capitol, but several suspects are still at large.

In one major breakthrough for the investigation on Thursday, a grand jury indicted two men on charges of conspiracy to injure by spraying the fallen Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick with bear spray. Sicknick was one of five people who died as a result of the riots. 

Last week, the FBI also released surveillance footage of the suspect they believe placed pipe bombs outside the headquarters of the Democratic and Republican National Committees’ headquarters in the Capitol Hill neighborhood on January 5.  

The prosecution of Capitol rioters is among the most wide-ranging and labor-intensive in the Department of Justice’s history and spans the entire federal court system. 

In a recent court filing in the DOJ’s case against nine defendants affiliated with the extremist Oath Keepers movement, federal prosecutors said they expect to charge at least 100 more defendants and have received over 210,000 tips. They called the probe “likely the most complex investigation ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.”

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