U of Chicago study: Demographics of Jan. 6 ‘insurrection’ show younger, mainstream crowd

by WorldTribune Staff, January 23, 2022

After a doing a deep dive on more that 700 individuals arrested for allegedly participating in the Jan. 6 “insurrection,” a University of Chicago professor debunked the leftist narrative that a group of Confederate flag-waving, Trump-loving hillbillies conspired to bring down the government.

Political Science Professor Robert A. Pape researched 716 “individuals [who] have been charged with illegally entering the Capitol or Capitol grounds on January 6.”

Pape found that most of those arrested are under age 55, many are business owners, have college degrees and come from urban, not rural, counties that reportedly voted for Joe Biden in 2020.

In a commentary about the study for Western Journal, Mike Landry took issue with the word “insurrection”:

I want to write a few words on words. Words mean things. As a result, when I write the word “insurrection” or “insurrectionists,” I am quoting or paraphrasing what someone has said. Because the claim that an insurrection against the United States of America occurred on January 6, 2021, is a lie.

Pape quoted from a Jan. 10, 2021 article in The Atlantic to set the leftist stereotype of the alleged participants:

“Here they were, a coalition of the willing: deadbeat dads, YouPorn enthusiasts, slow students, and MMA fans. They had heard the rebel yell, packed up their Confederate flags and Trump banners, and GPS-ed their way to Washington. After a few wrong turns, they had pulled into the swamp with bellies full of beer and Sausage McMuffins, maybe a little high on Adderall, ready to get it done.”

Pape said he based his research on the demographics of those arrested for their alleged participation in the events of Jan. 6 with the demographics of 1) individuals arrested in recent years as “right-wing violent offenders,” 2) the U.S. electorate in general, and 3) Trump supporters.

Pape and his associates found those arrested “closely reflect the U.S. electorate on most socio-economic variables and, hence, come from the mainstream, not just the fringe of society.”

Pape wrote that the what happened on Jan. 6 “appears driven by Millenials and Gen Xers.”

Conservative University of California at Berkeley Professor Steven Hayward noted in the Powerline blog: “And if the energy of the so-called ‘insurrection’ is mostly among younger people, well it means liberals are in for several tough decades ahead.”

Just 15 percent of the 716 in his research were over age 55, compared to 49 percent between ages 35 to 54 and 36 percent under age 35, Pape said.

Pape’s analysis traced about 500 occupations of the 716 arrested. Significantly, 26 percent were business owners and another 10 percent described themselves as self-employed.

“That means more than a third of those arrested don’t fit what might be the stereotype of an individual in a high-pressure demonstration – someone unemployed, underemployed or a student,” Western Journal’s Mike Landry noted.

While past arrests of “right-wing extremists” found 48 percent belonged to militia-type organizations, of the 716 arrested there were 51 Proud Boys, 24 Oath Keepers, 18 Three Percenters, along with nine belonging to other groups, Pape said.

The narrative that the alleged Jan. 6 participants traveled to D.C. from the reddest of counties was also shredded by Pape.

The research found most came from counties that are less white than the national average; most came from urban, not rural, counties; and most came from counties with lower than average unemployment.

Pape also found that most of the 716 came from counties with a declining white population. That decline, he said, “has a galvanizing effect, and counties that have had higher rates of non-Hispanic white population decline in the last half-decade are likely to produce insurrectionists at a higher rate.”

As Berkeley’s Hayward noted: “It suggests that the Biden administration’s relentless drive for open borders is going to drive a lot more mainstream Americans into opposition.”

Pape also found that most of the 716 arrested were consuming mainstream media television: 42 percent of those with so-called “insurrectionist sentiments” had as their main media source Fox News, Newsmax or One America News Network; 32 percent watch CNN and MSNBC; and only 10 percent get their news mainly from social media like Gab or Telegram.


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