Majority of Floridians accept Zimmerman trial verdict, support “Stand Your Ground” law

Viewpoint Florida conducted a statewide survey of 900 registered voters on July 18 to assess voter attitudes related to the much-publicized trial of George Zimmerman.

56% of the voters surveyed thought that the jury’s ‘not guilty’ verdict in the Zimmerman trial over the shooting of Trayvon Martin was the correct verdict. Furthermore, 63% of the voters surveyed did not believe that Mr. Zimmerman should not be charged with a federal hate crime after he was not convicted in his criminal trial.

Respondents were asked to choose one of three statements which best described their perception of Mr. Zimmerman’s conduct leading up to and including his shooting of Trayvon Martin. 53% of respondents felt that he was justifiably acting in self-defense, while 27% of respondents felt that Zimmerman had committed a clear act of racially motivated violence, and 13% felt that Zimmerman had committed murder when he shot Trayvon Martin, but that the killing was not racially motivated.

Similarly, respondents were asked to choose a statement from three which best described their view on Florida’s so-called “Stand Your Ground” law. 50% said the law is fine the way it is, while 31% of voters thought the law needed to be changed or limited, and just 13% thought that “Stand Your Ground” should be repealed entirely.

A majority of respondents believed that race relations in the United States have actually gotten worse since Barack Obama became President. Only 10% of respondents believed that race relations in the United States have gotten better. The strongest support for the notion that race relations are improving came from Democrats, but only 17% of registered Democrats surveyed agreed with that notion. 35% of respondents felt that race relations have not significantly changed for better or worse.

Finally, when considering those elements of safety and security including domestic crime, terrorism, the economy and individual liberties, 55% of voters surveyed felt less safe and secure in America than they felt five years ago.

The study was conducted on July 18, 2013 among 900 Florida registered voters likely to vote in the 2014 general election. The margin of error is +/- 3.27%.

Full Results

For details see Methodology

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