Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
Reporter James L. Rosica covers state government from the Tribune's Tallahassee bureau. Email
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Poll: Floridians agree with charging Zimmerman, unsure about guilt
Posted Apr 23, 2012 by William March
Updated Apr 23, 2012 at 05:30 PM
A new poll by Public Policy Polling indicates that a large plurality of Florida voters agree with the decision to charge George Zimmerman with second-degree murder, but they’re not convinced he’s guilty.
A plurality also said they don’t think the killing was motivated by racism, and that they support the “Stand Your Ground” law that may be used in Zimmerman’s defense.
But the responses in the poll were significantly split along partisan and racial lines, with Democratic and black voters much more likely to consider Zimmerman guilty and to believe racism was involved.
—Asked whether they agree with the decision to charge Zimmerman, 49 percent said they do, 25 percent disagree and 26 percent don’t know.
—Asked whether he’s guilty, 31 percent said yes, 26 percent said no and 43 percent said they’re not sure. But 79 percent of black respondents and 49 percent of Democrats said he was guilty, while only 13 percent of Republicans and 21 percent of whites did.
—Asked whether the killing was motivated by racism, the answers were 32 percent yes, 45 percent no and 23 percent not sure. But 68 percent of blacks and 47 percent of Democrats said yes, compared to 24 percent of whites and 14 percent of Republicans.
—Asked whether they support the Stand Your Ground law, 42 percent said yes, 32 percent said no and 26 percent weren’t sure.
—Asked whether Zimmeran will get a fair trial, it was 46 percent yes, 37 percent no and 17 percent not sure.
PPP is a North Carolina-based, Democratic-oriented polling firm which says its published polls are neutral. This poll, which PPP said was not paid for by any campaign or political organization, got responses from 700 Florida voters April 12-15, for an error margin of 3.7 points.
Full results here.