Tuesday, July 23, 2013
African-Americans and whites are sharply divided on the Zimmerman verdict, reveal new polls
In a Washington Post-ABC poll, more than 1,000 Americans were asked whether they approved of the Zimmerman verdict. A whopping 81% of blacks said no, while just 9% said yes. The numbers were sharply reversed among whites, with 51% favoring the jury's decision and 27% disapproving. And shortly after Attorney General Eric Holder was assuring the NAACP at its convention that his Justice Department was still investigating the Zimmerman case, an 81% majority of blacks told pollsters that they believe Zimmerman should face new civil rights charges in federal court. Just 13% disagreed. White respondents were opposed, but less strongly, by a 59-27 margin. Overall, ABC found that 39% of Americans thought Zimmerman should be charged again. Forty-six percent disagreed. ABC conducted its poll July 18-21, 2013. A separate poll of 1,000 Americans conducted July 15-16, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports found that in the days immediately following Zimmerman's acquittal, just 21% - barely half the number in ABC's poll a few days later - thought federal civil-rights charges were warranted. Asked if they agreed with the jury verdict in Sanford, Florida, less than half overall - 48% - told the Rasmussen researchers that they did. Thirty-four per cent disagreed. In a separate Rasmussen poll conducted July 17-18, 2013 48% of Americans said that they view Zimmerman unfavorably, compared to 32% who had a favorable view of him. Just 17% of self-identified Republicans, The Washington Post reported, think the Justice Department should file civil-rights charges over the death of Martin, a 17-year-old young man when his life ended. Among Democrats, 57% say that Zimmerman should face new federal charges. Approval of the jury's verdict was also split along party lines, with 65% of Republicans and 22% of Democrats in favor.