An emotional hearing this week in which police officers attacked in the Capitol riot testified before a House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6 turned more Americans against the need for the probe, according to a Morning Consult poll.
Among voters of all parties, 53 percent supported the investigation, down from 66 percent in the survey in June and 58 percent just a week ago. Four out of five Democrats were in favor, while only a quarter of Republicans were, along with half of independents.
Only 49 percent of those polled said they had watched all or even part of the committee hearing that dominated the news cycle on Tuesday.
And the survey had more bad news for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who appointed all of the members of the committee, including the two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois: The number of voters who blame former President Donald Trump for the riot fell to 56 percent from 61 percent in June.
The polling comes at a critical time for the investigatory effort as its members, including Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), promise swift action to subpoena witnesses, possibly including Trump administration officials and Republican members of Congress.
Democrats and their two GOP allies on the committee had hoped that the opening hearing, with its at times searing and heartfelt testimony from the officers, would inspire more Americans to demand answers about the riot. Instead the poll indicates the opposite.
In the run-up to the probe, Pelosi took the risky and unprecedented step of rejecting two members appointed to the committee by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). She argued that Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio would harm the “integrity of the investigation.”
In response, McCarthy pulled all five of his GOP picks off the panel, leaving only Cheney and Kinzinger, both avowed enemies of Trump, as the sole Republicans, allowing Democrats to call the effort bipartisan.
Thursday’s poll continues a downward trend in multiple surveys, with both CBS News and Rasmussen reporting declining interest in the investigation just days before the hearing.