Poll: Most Americans Feel Rhetoric, Tucson Shooting Unrelated
CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.
Nearly six in 10 Americans say the country's heated political rhetoric is not to blame for the Tucson shooting rampage that left six dead and critically wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, according to a CBS News poll.
In the wake of the shooting, much focus has been put on the harsh tone of politics in Washington and around the country, particularly after a contentious midterm election. Rhetoric and imagery from both Republicans and Democrats have included gun-related metaphors, but the majority of the country isn't connecting the shooting to politics.
The lone suspect in the attack, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, had expressed in recent years a deep-seated distrust of the government and personal animosity toward Giffords, according to evidence collected by authorities, YouTube videos he made and accounts from former acquaintances.
Independents more closely reflected the overall breakdown - 56 percent said rhetoric had nothing to do with the attack; 33 percent felt it did.
The telephone poll was conducted Jan 9-10 among 673 adults across the country. The margin of error is +/- 4 percent.
This poll was conducted by telephone on January 9-10, 2011 among 673 adults nationwide first interviewed by CBS News December 17-20, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Poll.
Popular in Politics
- Romney condemns "breach of trust" in Washington 217 Comments
- Adviser on White House scandals: "Partisan fishing expeditions" won't distract Obama 50 Comments
- Officials on Benghazi: "We made mistakes, but without malice"
- Where is the Benghazi cover-up Republicans promised? 422 Comments
- IRS targeting overlooked biggest soft money groups 71 Comments
- For GOP, scandals could be an electoral plus - or minus
- Republicans use IRS scandal to tar Obamacare 48 Comments
- Immigration deal reached in House