Rasmussen: Just 21% think Zimmerman should be charged with a hate crime

posted at 7:21 pm on July 18, 2013 by Allahpundit

Unlike yesterday’s poll, I don’t have the crosstabs for this one. But if barely one-fifth of likely voters is backing Holder up, how much does it matter how the numbers break out?

Most Americans don’t believe George Zimmerman was motivated by racism and do not believe he should be charged with a hate crime for shooting black teenager Trayvon Martin. But as with nearly every question regarding this case, there is wide racial disagreement.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 24% of all American Adults believe Zimmerman’s actions that led to Martin’s death were motivated primarily by racism. Fifty-four percent (54%) think the Hispanic Neighborhood Watch volunteer was chiefly motivated instead by a concern about burglaries in the neighborhood. Twenty-two percent (22%) are not sure.

Hard to believe support is this thin if there’s “wide racial disagreement.” Presumably a large majority of blacks are in favor of the hate-crimes charge; I’d bet there’s at least a sizable minority of self-identified liberals of all races in favor too. That’s not an insignificant number of voters. If support for federal prosecution tops out at 21 percent, opposition among moderates and conservatives across the demographic spectrum must be enormous. The political argument for charging Zimmerman even in the teeth of that kind of resistance is that Democrats need to mobilize their base for the midterms, but you don’t actually have to charge him to do that. Note that Holder’s focus in his remarks to the NAACP on Tuesday was more about rolling back “stand your ground” laws than prosecuting hate crimes. Al Sharpton also mentioned “stand your ground” in his presser yesterday notwithstanding its exceedingly minor role in the case. That’s the political spark here for the lefty base — go to the polls, elect Democrats, and undo the statutes that (supposedly, but not really) guaranteed Zimmerman’s acquittal. If anything, the fact that the DOJ’s hands are tied in prosecuting him is all the more reason for liberals to take back Congress and start writing new laws. Obama can have his cake here by goosing turnout and can eat it too by skipping a broadly unpopular, doomed-to-fail prosecution of Zimmerman.

But maybe they’ll do it anyway, just to exact a little “social justice.”

Apropos of nothing, via Mediaite, here’s Charles Barkley making the case on CNBC that yes, of course the verdict was correct, and no, the media doesn’t have clean hands in all this. The two big takeaways for people who watched the trial, I suspect, are that there was zero hard evidence produced that Zimmerman targeted Martin because of his race (Barkley assumes an element of racial profiling but there’s nothing to prove it) and that Zimmerman got the worst of the fight before he shot Martin, which speaks directly to self-defense. Both of those elements, combined with Zimmerman’s personal history, make the hate-crime charge essentially impossible to prove. That’s why we’re at 21 percent.

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Bmore on July 19, 2013 at 11:45 AM

21% are stupid.

Schadenfreude on July 19, 2013 at 11:45 AM

I am not totally at ease with lionizing a lumpy little douche who got out of his car, away from his home, with a weapon, to pursue someone not threatening anyone’s life or even property and then ended up, due to lack of physical ability and experience, having to take a life to save his own.

That ain’t heroics. That’s more than kind of dumb.

M240H on July 18, 2013 at 9:59 PM

I’m going to pile on because, well, you deserve it.

On another forum, someone summed it up better than I have: Zimmerman made tactical mistakes, not moral ones.

I’m going to lionize him not for shooting Mr. Martin (though I will not fault him for that, in the least), but I will lionize him for caring about his community enough to try to keep eyes on a suspicious subject for the police to question. We need MORE Zimmermans in this world, people who care about their community and try to make it a better, safer place.

He did not go “looking for trouble”. He was attempting to observe and report from a safe distance. He lost situational awareness (his tactical mistake) and left a position of safety (another tactical mistake.) That isn’t reckless endangerment because neither of those actions puts anyone else in danger. It requires action from the subject of interest to create danger for himself.

You seriously do not understand what is involved in reckless endangerment. Further, you are confusing mistaken tactics with moral failings. He’s not a “squirrelly little piece of crap” and speaking of someone who made a tactical mistake as such makes you sound like the know-it-alls behind a gun counter, monday morning quarterbacking decisions that were, at worst, unwise.

(Reposting to the top, because I think you need a bit more piling on.)

makattak on July 19, 2013 at 11:23 AM

makattak on July 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM

F- T-

Del Dolemonte on July 19, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Regraded on a curve for accuracy…and Trayvon.

Christien on July 19, 2013 at 1:23 PM


Associated Press:

George Zimmerman accused the Sanford police department of corruption more than a year before he shot Trayvon Martin, saying at a public forum the agency covered up the beating of a black homeless man by the son of a white officer. “I would just like to state that the law is written in black and white,” Zimmerman said during a 90-second statement to city commissioners at a community forum. “It should not and cannot be enforced in the gray for those who are in the thin blue line.”

Del Dolemonte on July 19, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Could we get the race of that 21%?

F_This on July 19, 2013 at 3:32 PM

If young black men want to stop being profiled maybe they could stop murdering folks. As Larry Elder pointed out, 50% of the murders in this country are committed by blacks, who compose 12.5% of the population. Most of the murders are committed by males, so make it 6% of the population. Subtract the old and very young, and you’re down to 3% of the population committing 50% of the murders.

claudius on July 19, 2013 at 3:33 PM

“Just 21% think Zimmerman should be charged with a hate crime.”

Yeah, and blacks are 14% of the population. The media doesn’t mention this:

NoPain on July 20, 2013 at 12:08 AM

makattak on July 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Your understanding of tactics, and the intended purpose of legal defensive carry, make clear that you -like many others here- are an armchair badass who has a rich fantasy life and probably not much else.

M240H on July 20, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Coincidentally, this is the same percentage of self-identified liberals in the country.

MDLibertyLover on July 22, 2013 at 11:54 AM