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Supporters of Donald Trump clash with the U.S. Capitol police during a riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.. - ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/TNS

A nationwide poll shows broad support for prosecuting rioters involved in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, but almost half of respondents said they expected penalties would be too lax. According to the poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, 69 percent said it was “very important" for federal authorities to arrest and prosecute those responsible for the insurrection. Support for prosecuting the rioters was strongest among Democrats, 86 percent of whom said it was very important. Even so, a total of 79 percent of Republicans supported prosecution as either very important or somewhat important. However, a n...

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, left, and former President Donald Trump.

Photo by Kevin McCarthy (Public domain)

In the professional stratum of politics, few verities are treated with more reverence than the outcome of next year's midterm, when the Republican Party is deemed certain to recapture majorities in the House and Senate. With weary wisdom, any pol or pundit will cite the long string of elections that buttress this prediction.

Political history also tells us that many factors can influence an electoral result, including a national crisis or a change in economic conditions — in other words, things can change and even midterm elections are not entirely foretold. There have been a few exceptions to this rule, too.

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