Few Americans object to the large Capitol Police presence and fencing at a protest

September 23, 2021, 8:56 PM UTC

Many Americans think the Capitol is better safe than sorry.

Eight months after Americans watched scenes of badly outnumbered police forces overcome by people who stormed the Capitol, the Capitol Police showed much greater relative numerical force for a rally at the home of Congress.

In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, Americans asked about the Capitol protest Saturday — in support of the people arrested after the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol — raised few objections to policing measures that were adopted in the wake of Jan. 6. Fewer than one in five Americans describe the Capitol Police as overprepared for Saturday’s rally, though many aren’t sure. Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to view the police as overprepared.

Americans’ attitude to police preparation for Saturday’s rally is a big shift from their view of Jan. 6 preparedness. That’s a big change from Americans’ view looking back at Jan. 6. Two in three say the Capitol Police were underprepared for the events of that day.

Comfort with policing measures at the Capitol extends beyond people to protective structure. Nearly twice as many approve (53%) as disapprove (28%) of the fencing installed around the Capitol Building before the latest rally. However, Republicans narrowly oppose the addition of fencing: 46% disapprove while 37% approve. 

January 6th Protest

See the toplines and crosstabs from this Economist/YouGov poll

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. Adult Citizens interviewed online between September 18 - 21, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. citizens. The margin of error is approximately 2.9% for the overall sample. 

Image: Getty