Poll Shows Massive Racial, Partisan Divide On Zimmerman Trial


Findings released Monday by Pew Research Center showed a massive divide in the public’s reaction to the acquittal of George Zimmerman along racial and partisan lines.

The survey found a split to the verdict overall: 39 percent said they were satisfied that the jury found Zimmerman not guilty on all counts in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, while 42 percent said they were dissatisfied.

The divide can be seen even more starkly when the responses are broken down by race. For example, a whopping 86 percent of blacks said they were dissatisfied with the verdict while nearly half of whites — 49 percent — said they were satisfied. Democrats and Republicans were divided on the question, as well. Sixty-one percent of Republicans said they were satisfied with the verdict, compared with 68 percent of Democrats who said they were dissatisfied.

A slight majority of Americans, including 60 percent of whites and 68 percent of Republicans, said that race drew more coverage in the Zimmerman case than it deserved. Blacks and Democrats, not surprisingly, saw it differently. Seventy-eight of blacks and 62 percent of Democrats said the case raised important issues about race that need to be discussed. 


Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.