Former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman is viewed favorably by 32 percent of the American public, according to a new Rasmussen poll.
32 percent of American adults view Zimmerman favorably, while 48 percent view him unfavorably, according to the poll.
Zimmerman was acquitted this month in the shooting death of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, but his case remains a lightning rod in the public discourse. Though just 34 percent of the public actually disagreed with Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict, according to a previous Rasmussen poll, the 29-year old watchman remains a polarizing national figure.
“Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” President Obama said in a press conference on Friday after the verdict. Protests related to Zimmerman’s acquittal resulted in 17 arrests in Southern California after a demonstration in Victorville Wednesday. Florida governor Rick Scott was forced to hold an emergency meeting with protesters that camped out in the lobby outside his office, demanding repeal of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law.
NBA legend Charles Barkley has been one of the few public figures anywhere near Zimmerman’s side during the frenzy, saying, “I agree with the verdict.”
“While we acknowledge and understand the racial context of this case, we challenge people to look closely and dispassionately at the facts,” Zimmerman’s defense team stated after Obama’s solemn press conference.
By comparison, President Obama clocked in at 44 percent favorability in a new Quinnipiac University poll, with 48 percent disapproving of his performance — the same disapproval rate as for Zimmerman.
Among Zimmerman trial figures, Martin friend Rachel Jeantel has fared best in the court of public opinion, giving parenting advice on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight and earning a full college scholarship to any historically black school in the country from radio host Tom Joyner.