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January 6th Committee
Rep. Bennie Thompson makes remarks in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 1, 2021 during a meeting of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images file

Voters in the middle are critical to watch in the Jan. 6 debate

Just 41 percent of independents hold Trump responsible for attack, per NBC poll.


In our increasingly polarized politics, the middle of the electorate — swing voters, independents and soft partisans — has become crucial in measuring public opinion. 

If you don’t have the middle on your side in a particular debate, you’re not going to get a majority of public support, or close to it. 

And that’s true from the results of our most recent NBC News poll, where just 41 percent of independents say they hold former President Donald Trump “solely” or “mainly responsible for the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

Overall in the poll, 45 percent of all respondents say they hold Trump responsible — down from 52 percent who said this in the days after the attack. 

If the upcoming congressional hearings on the Jan. 6 attack are going to be successful for Democrats (as well as Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.) in shaping public opinion, it will need to start with these independents.

NBC News poll
NBC News poll