42% of Florida voters support "Stand Your Ground" law, 32% oppose it

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From Public Policy Polling: Floridians generally support the firearm self-defense law that George Zimmerman will use as part of his defense in the Trayvon Martin case, but they also support him being charged with second-degree murder because they think he is guilty.

42% of Florida voters support the “Stand Your Ground” law, and 32% oppose it.  Republicans overwhelmingly support it (60-13), and independents like it as well (45-31), but Democrats oppose it (24-50).

49% think Zimmerman was appropriately charged, while 25% think he was not.  The verdict is more narrow when it comes to his actual guilt of said charge–31% believe he is guilty, and 26% think him innocent.  Despite the hullabaloo, 46% believe Zimmerman will be able to receive a fair trial, and 37% think he cannot.

Floridians generally do not believe Zimmerman was motivated by racism when he killed Martin–only 32% think he was, and 45% think he wasn’t.

This case has opened up racial wounds around the country, probably felt most clearly in Florida.  The divide on these questions between white and black voters is stark.  47% of white voters support “Stand Your Ground,” while 57% of black voters and 40% of Hispanic voters oppose it.  42% of whites support the murder charge, which is backed by 84% of blacks and 59% of Hispanics.  White voters think Zimmerman is not guilty by a 30-21 margin, while black and Hispanic voters believe him guilty by respective 73-9 and 48-19 spreads.  51% of whites believe Zimmerman was not motivated by racism, while 68% of blacks and 44% of Hispanics think he was.

There is also a generational divide.  68% of voters under 30 support the murder charge, and that goes down to 58% to 45% to 40% across the age spectrum.  Similarly, 58% of young voters think Zimmerman guilty, versus 38%, 23%, and 25% of their elders.  63% of the youth think Zimmerman was motivated by racism, while 40%, 52%, and 48% of the older age brackets think he was not.

There is also a gender gap on these questions.  For example, women only support “Stand Your Ground” by a 33-32 mark, but men do by a 53-31 spread.  Women believe Zimmerman guilty by a 39-18 margin, but men think him not guilty (23-34).  Women narrowly think he was motivated by racism (41-35), but men strongly don’t (22-55).

More here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.