While 43% were sympathetic toward Simpson last September, only 34% described themselves that way now. The level of sympathy fell among blacks, whites and Latinos, although Simpson did remain a sympathetic figure to most blacks.
Whites defended the prosecutors and blamed the mostly minority jury for the biased verdicts; blacks support the Simpson defense team and defended the jurors. Blacks were more than four times more likely than whites to think Simpson was not guilty. Almost half of whites describe themselves as "angry" at the verdicts, a position held by only 4% of blacks. The poll underscores that, whatever people thought during the trial, the verdict has divided them cleanly.
The split was apparent as well when respondents were asked if they thought Simpson was guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or had not committed the crimes. Nearly two-thirds--65%--of whites believed him guilty and only 13% said he was not guilty. In contrast, only 11% of blacks felt he was guilty and 61% said he was not guilty. Among Latinos, 41% said he was guilty and 31% disagreed.