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Editor’s note: This is another in a series of WND/WENZEL POLLS conducted exclusively for WND by the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies.

A large majority of registered voters say that “race activists” are responsible for exploiting the Florida shooting tragedy that left teenager Trayvon Martin dead and neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on trial for 2nd-degree murder.

And 45 percent of the respondents to the WND/WENZEL poll conducted exclusively for WND by the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies say that activist Al Sharpton should give up his cable news channel program while he’s involved in the case.

The results come from a scientific national telephone poll conducted April 9-12 with a margin of error of 3.42 percent.

Nearly 60 percent of the respondents, including 34 percent of Democrats, agreed that the Florida case has been “exploited for political purposes.” That included 8 of 10 of the GOP respondents and 63 percent of the independents, in addition to the 34 percent of Democrats. About 27 percent said the case has not been exploited politically, and 14 percent were unsure.

Respondents who describe themselves as moderate saw the least exploitation. Thirty-eight percent of that group said it is happening, while 43 percent of the very liberal and 40 percent of the liberal agreed. Among those who call themselves conservative, 78 percent saw exploitation, the same figure as the lgroup described as very conservative.

“There is … clearly a national cynicism building about this case, and building against race activists, in part because this single case is trumpeted while so many more heinous crimes are ignored by the media and activists,” said Fritz Wenzel, president of Wenzel Strategies.

“Nearly 6 in 10 said they believe this case has been exploited, and among those who said as much, 65 percent said it was the race activists who were engaging in the exploitation,” he said.

“Respondents were unwilling to blame partisans, interestingly enough, as just 8 percent blamed Democrats in general, another 7 percent blamed Barack Obama specifically, and just 5 percent said they believed that conservative talk radio or Republicans had exploited the situation,” he said. “Another 5 percent said they felt Hollywood celebrities had exploited the situation.”

On the issue of Sharpton and his demand that Zimmerman be arrested, while a slight majority said Sharpton should continue his program “even while he is actively involved in a high-profile controversy,” a full 45 percent said he should be off the air.

That 45 percent segment of voters included 27 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of independents.

The responses generally followed political persuasions, but even 34 percent of the “very liberal” and 32 percent of the “liberal” said Sharpton should “give up” his show.

Sharpton has been accused by the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy arm, Richard Land, of using the case for political purposes.

Land said Barack Obama “poured gasoline on the racialist fires,” according to the AP, which quoted Land saying Sharpton used the case “to try to gin up the black vote for an African American president who is in deep, deep, deep trouble for re-election.”

CNN also has reported Sharpton’s close links to the White House were evidenced by the fact Attorney General Eric Holder recently decided to speak at the annual meeting of Sharpton’s group.

“It certainly is a sign of Sharpton’s very close relationship with the White House,” the report quoted Boyce Watkins, of Syracuse University, stating. “But to think there isn’t a political calculation involved would be a bit naïve.

See detailed answers to survey questions:

Activist Al Sharpton has been very involved in this case, calling for the arrest of Geroge Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martni. Al Sharpton also has a television program on a cabel news channel. Should Sharpton be forced to give up his television program or do you think it is OK for him to continue to host the program, even while he is actively involved in a high-profile controversy?

Has this situation in Florida been exploited for political purposes?

Of the following who would you say is most responsible for exploiting this situation?


Previous report:

Americans unload on Hollywood in Trayvon case

Look who’s really guilty in Trayvon Martin case

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