Poll: Most Michigan voters want answers about Jan. 6 attack, don’t support election-deniers

By: - August 12, 2022 7:32 am

The Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection | Alex Kent

New polling indicates that majorities of Michigan voters not only support the Jan. 6, 2021, congressional hearings but also are less likely to vote for a candidate who opposes their efforts at investigating former President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election he lost.

The Defend Democracy Project poll indicated that 82% of Michiganders are aware of the Jan. 6 special congressional committee, while a large majority (66%) view the investigation into Trump’s role in the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol as important to protect their right to vote. 

The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling and surveyed 555 Michigan voters Friday and Saturday. The margin of error is  4.2%, with 61% of interviews for the survey were conducted by text message and 39% by telephone.

The results were released Thursday during a virtual press conference featuring Defend Democracy Project Co-Chair Leslie Dach, Michigan House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.) and Public Policy Polling pollster Jim Williams.

Among the findings:

  • Nearly half (49%) of all voters believe the problems associated with the Capitol attack extend beyond Donald Trump and include members of the Republican Party who are loyal to him, while 46% of independent voters concur.
  • A majority (52%) of Michiganders think Trump and his team who took part in the insurrection on January 6th should be criminally prosecuted, including a plurality of independent voters (48-44%). 
  • Additionally, 52% say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate for office who downplayed the events of January 6th and opposed the special committee’s work to investigate it. Just 16% say they would be more likely to vote for such a candidate.

Defend Democracy Project Co-Chair Leslie Dach said the House Select Committee investigation has brought forth overwhelming evidence that Trump and his loyalists within the Republicans Party “planned, promoted, and paid for a violent criminal conspiracy” to overturn the election results.

“The Trump loyalists, whether they were in the Congress or in the states, were part and parcel of this criminal conspiracy and part and parcel of this threat,” said Dach. “The hearings show that the conspiracy is still ongoing, that election deniers, conspiracy theorists, and Trump Republicans continue to work and keep people from voting. They undermine trust in our elections and to overturn elections. It is very important not to cabin this problem just around Donald Trump, but to realize that it is a problem throughout those Republicans who are running for office as Trump loyalists and Michigan voters recognize this.”

The polling results come at a time when national attention has been focused on Michigan’s connections to the Jan. 6 insurrection and its goal of overturning the 2020 election.

The GOP candidates running for governor, attorney general and secretary of state — Tudor Dixon, Matt DePerno and Kristina Karamo, respectively — continue to insist, without evidence, that there was widespread fraud and have continued to cast doubt on the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s win.

Hundreds of local and state audits have confirmed that voter fraud was not a problem in the 2020 election.

Panel discusses Michigan polling on the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection | Screenshot

Lasinski noted that her colleague, Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit) introduced a resolution calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate 11 GOP state representatives for their role in trying to overturn the election, including five who attempted to get 16 fake Electoral College delegates to submit a false certificate at the state Capitol on Dec. 14, when the Electoral College met to certify the state’s election results, even though Biden won Michigan by more than 154,000 votes.

“As we’ve seen this unfold over the last couple of months here, televised across the nation, and the mounting evidence regarding Trump and his enablers, we’ve seen that Michigan has played a prominent role in this, including both sitting, elected officials and citizens vying for some of the highest offices in our state,” said Lasinski. “We’ve seen that they may have broken the law, that there may have been criminal activity and that there were definitely coordinated attempts to stay in power against the will of the people. Here in Michigan and our House of Representatives, some of my Republican colleagues that sit right across the aisle from me, continue to spread election lies and continue to work to pass some of the most restrictive voting laws in our nation.”

As for the election this November, Williams said the data clearly shows that a solid majority of Michigan voters are not supportive of a gubernatorial candidate also pushing the falsehood of a stolen election.

“Our polling shows that 58% of Michigan voters are concerned – with 53% very concerned – about Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon insisting that the 2020 election was ‘stolen’ from Donald Trump, without evidence,” said Wiliams. “This is not just a partisan issue — we’re seeing broad concern among Democrats and Independent voters about what happened on January 6.” 

The polling also indicated major concerns among most voters over issues uncovered by the Jan. 6 committee investigation:

  • 69% are concerned (with 56% saying they have very serious concerns) about Trump demanding that then-Vice President Mike Pence overturn the election result for him even after White House lawyers told him it was illegal. A majority (65%) of independents are concerned and a plurality (48%) have very serious concerns.
  • 68% are concerned (with 54% very concerned) about Trump and his allies telling people there was voter fraud in the 2020 election, even after some of Trump’s lawyers and the Attorney General told them there was no widespread fraud. Even a majority (59%) of independents are concerned.
  • 62% are concerned (with 57% very concerned) about Trump refusing to do anything for over three hours after being told the Capitol was under siege.
  • 61% are concerned (with 54% very concerned) about Trump knowing that many of his supporters attending his rally on January 6th were armed yet instructing them to march on the Capitol anyway. Even 55% of independents are concerned.
  • 60% are concerned (with 53% very concerned) about Trump and his team repeatedly pressuring local election officials in key states to find the votes to change the outcome of the election. Even 57% of independents are concerned.

When asked who the target audience was in terms of swaying opinion on the impact and meaning of the Jan. 6 attack, Lasinski said they recognize that very little will persuade those who have already come to a firm conclusion.

“I think that what we’re seeing, and what this poll expresses is, a lot of people are very interested,” she said. “They’re very concerned and they need the facts. And so while there are, I believe on both sides, 30 to 35% of folks who have made up their mind one way or the other, I do think there are about another third of folks who are looking and craving this bipartisan investigation that would benefit greatly from a bipartisan, bicameral investigation into Michigan elected officials role in the Jan. 6 assault.”

Lasinski added that House Democrats began introducing resolutions almost immediately after the Jan. 6 assault, but they had “fallen on deaf ears.”

“Not a single action has been taken by House leadership to conduct a bipartisan investigation into those who have acted against our Constitution,” she said. “So from Washington D.C., right here to Michigan, we’ve seen politicians abuse their power to keep Michiganders in the dark about Michigan’s critical role, both in overturning Michiganders votes, as well as in the assault on the Capitol.”

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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2021 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell, where he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Livingston Diversity Council.

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