Voters Disagree With Biden's Rhetoric About Capitol Attack, George Floyd Protests: Poll President Joe Biden speaks during an event in the South Court Auditorium of the White House June 2, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Friday, 04 June 2021 02:46 PM
Most voters disagree with President Joe Biden's characterizations of the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol and last summer's protests following George Floyd's death, according to a new Rasmussen survey.
Only 44% of likely voters agreed with Biden that the assault on the Capitol was "the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War." A total of 41% disagreed, and 14% said they weren’t sure, according to Rasmussen Reports on Friday.
Regarding last summer's protests, voters were asked, "Were the widespread disturbances in U.S. cities last summer 'mostly peaceful protests' or were they riots?"
Just 35% agreed that the "disturbances" were "mostly peaceful protests," while 52% said they were riots, and 13% were not sure.
As usual, voters were split along party lines.
Among Democrats, 66% said Biden was correct in saying Jan. 6 was "the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War" in his April 28 speech to a joint session of Congress. Twenty-six percent of Republicans, and 38% of voters not affiliated with either major party agreed.
As for voters disagreeing with the president's rhetoric regarding the attack, they included 59% of GOP voters, 20% of Democrats, and 48% of unaffiliated voters.
Regarding the "widespread disturbances in U.S. cities last summer," 69% of Republicans said they were riots, as did 32% of Democrats, and 55% of unaffiliated voters.
A majority (54%) of Democrats said the disturbances were "mostly peaceful protests." Only 22% of Republicans, and 27% of unaffiliated voters agreed.
Among Black voters, less than half (47%) said the disturbances after Floyd’s death while in police custody were "mostly peaceful" protests, as did 35% of whites, and 30% of other minorities.
A total of 52% of white voters said the disturbances were riots, as did 42% of Black voters, and 56% of other minorities.
A majority (51%) of Black voters agreed with Biden that the Capitol attack was "the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War." The poll found 44% of whites, and 42% of other minorities agreed.
Those disagreeing with Biden’s rhetoric about the attack were 41% of white voters, 34% of Black voters, and 45% of other minorities.
Among voters who agreed with Biden’s description of the Capitol attack, 58% said the disturbances last summer were "mostly peaceful protests."
Among voters who disagreed with Biden’s rhetoric about the Capitol violence, 77% said last summer’s disturbances were riots.
Government workers were more likely than private-sector employees or retirees to agree with Biden’s claim that the Jan. 6 assault was "the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War."
Fifty-five percent of those with graduate degrees, and 66% of those earning $200,000 a year or more, agreed with Biden. People with less income or education were less likely to agree with the president’s claim.
The only income category with a majority saying last summer's disturbances were "mostly peaceful protests" was voters earning $200,000 a year or more.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey of 870 likely voters was conducted June 2-3. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Previous Rasmussen surveys found that a majority of voters supported the creation of a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, and a majority still supported police and worried that criticism of cops will make their communities less safe.