More Republicans view the right-wing group Oath Keepers favorably than not, according to a new poll.
The Oath Keepers are a far-right militia who allegedly encouraged protesters to breach the U.S. Capitol on January 6 during the certification of the 2020 presidential elections. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies them as an extremist group “based on a set of baseless conspiracy theories about the federal government working to destroy Americans’ liberties.”
In the latest Economist/YouGov poll, 38 percent of registered Republicans said they either hold “very” or “somewhat” favorable views of the group, while 36 percent said they view them unfavorably. Another 26 percent said they did not know.
Among everyone surveyed, only 20 percent of respondents said they hold favorable views of the groups, while 63 percent said they view them unfavorably, according to the poll. When asked how much respondents have heard about the group, 21 percent said they have heard a lot, 35 percent said a little and 44 percent said they’d heard nothing at all.
The poll asked respondents a series of questions about the threat posed by right-wing militias.
More than half of respondentsâ€”53 percentâ€”said they are a serious threat to the United States, while 17 percent said they pose no threat.
Among Republicans, the number of respondents who said they pose a serious threat dropped to 32 percent, while 31 percent said they pose no threat at all, according to the poll.
The poll surveyed 1,500 people online from January 15 to 18 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent.
Earlier this month, Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes was charged with seditious conspiracy for his role during the Capitol riot. He was arrested in Texas on January 11.
The Department of Justice alleged in a statement about the indictment that he and co-conspirators “coordinated and planned to travel to Washington, D.C.” on or around January 6.
They allegedly took various actions ahead of the riots, including “organizing trainings to teach and learn paramilitary combat tactics; bringing and contributing paramilitary gear, weapons, and supplies…to the Capitol grounds” and “breaching and attempting to take control of the Capitol grounds and building on Jan. 6, 2021, in an effort to prevent, hinder and delay the certification of the Electoral College vote.”
Some Republican lawmakers have condemned the group.
In September 2021, GOP Representative Adam Kinzinger said on CNN: “They are all about the overthrow of the federal government.”
“This overthrow the government fetish that existsâ€”I don’t understand it except there’s a lot of bored people out there who probably never served a day in their life and gets to go play dress-up,” added the Illinois lawmaker.
Newsweek reached out to the National Republican Committee for comment on Saturday. This story will be updated with any response.