Poll: 53% think “rhetoric” angle is being used to make conservatives look bad

A 53% majority of those surveyed call that analysis mostly an attempt to use the tragedy to make conservatives look bad. About a third, 35%, say it is a legitimate point about how dangerous language can be.

And there is little sense that stricter gun control laws in Arizona might have averted the tragedy. Only one in five say they would have prevented the shooting; 72% say tighter controls wouldn’t have prevented it…

There are partisan differences in views of the shooting. Even among Democrats, however, a third say it isn’t legitimate to single out conservatives’ language for criticism; just over half say it is legitimate. Seven in 10 Republicans call that analysis mostly an attempt to make conservatives look bad.

In the poll, the public is precisely evenly divided on whether the heated language generally used in politics today was a factor in the shooting: 42% say yes, 42% say no. Another 15% have no opinion.