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Poll: Trayvon Martin case divides US by race, age, wealth, and politics

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Given what’s known about the case, for example, blacks are more than twice as likely as nonblacks (72 to 32 percent) to believe that Mr. Zimmerman (who is white and Hispanic) is guilty of a crime in shooting Trayvon, according to an April 2-4 Gallup survey of 3,006 Americans.

“Blacks are paying much closer attention to the news of the incident; overwhelmingly believe that George Zimmerman … is guilty of a crime; believe that racial bias was a major factor in the events leading up to the shooting; and believe that Zimmerman would already have been arrested had the victim been white, not black,” writes Gallup editor in chief Frank Newport in an analysis of the findings.

The Pew Research Center finds similar racial and political differences in the extent to which Americans are paying attention to the unfolding story.

Blacks and Democrats are much more likely to be following the story than whites or Republicans, Pew finds, and whites and Republicans are much more likely to say there’s been too much coverage of Trayvon's death.

Some major corporations apparently are paying close attention to the Trayvon Martin story as well.

On Thursday, Kraft Foods Inc. joined Coca-Cola and Pepsico in pulling its membership from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

The ALEC is a conservative nonprofit policy organization whose major funders include billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. It’s been associated with laws like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law (allowing citizens to use deadly force rather than retreat in the face of a potentially life-threatening encounter) as well as with efforts to restrict voter registration – neither of which has much to do with the organization’s stated probusiness agenda.

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