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Only 5 percent list Jan. 6 as top Trump presidency memory: Survey

Only 5 percent of registered voters cite the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol or former President Trump’s alleged election subversion efforts as their most prominent memory from his time in the White House, according to an analysis of a survey released Monday.

Pollsters for The New York Times and Siena College asked respondents to describe one thing they remembered most about Trump’s presidency. Jan. 6 and COVID-19, two of the most significant events in recent U.S. history, fell to the bottom of the list, with 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

Thirty-nine percent mentioned something related to Trump’s behavior, 24 percent mentioned the economy, 9 percent mentioned immigration, and 5 percent mentioned foreign policy.

“It’s the salience of issues today that color the memories that people have of Trump,” John Sides, a professor of political science at Vanderbilt, told the Times.

More than a third of respondents described a negative memory, and the same share described a positive one, the Times noted, adding some memories could not be clearly categorized.

Those who shared negative memories most often said they remembered Trump’s behavior most. The Times gave examples of some of the responses grouped into this category: “He was the biggest liar ever”; “His dislike for Black people”; “The terrible things he did to women”; “Chaos and corruption”; “The disgrace he brought to this country”; “His direct way of doing business”; “I remember him using Twitter a lot”; and “He got things done and fulfilled campaign promises.”

Those who shared positive memories most often said they remembered the economy most. Examples from this category include: “The economy”; “The economy was a little better than it is now”; “The economy was in a lot better shape than it is now”; “Gas was cheap and we were using our own oil”; “That he gave out stimulus checks”; “Tax cuts for the rich”; “The tax cuts”; “Good economy, no wars.”

Registered voters who cited either Jan. 6 or COVID gave some of the following responses: “When he refused to turn over power”; “He should be in jail for the Jan. 6 incident”; “involvement with the Jan. 6 riot attack on the capital”; “Jan. 6 and his unwillingness to accept the election results”; “His anti-science views; he called Covid a liberal hoax”; “He called Covid-19 a hoax and was a constant liar”; “Total incompetence in handling the Covid-19 crisis”; and “Negligence in providing accurate Covid information.”

The poll was conducted with 1,059 registered voters from April 7 to 11 and had a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.

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