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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Polls: Charged speech NOT to blame for Arizona attacks

CNN: Amid discussion an increasingly charged political atmosphere may have motivated the shootings in Arizona, a new national poll suggests a majority of Americans believe the heated rhetoric of late played no role in the tragedy that critically injured a congresswoman and left six dead.

According to a new CBS poll, 57 percent of Americans say political vitriol did not contribute to the attacks allegedly committed by 22 year-old Jared Loughner; 32 percent felt it did.

Broken down by party, 69 percent of Republicans said heated political dialogue played no role, while 19 percent said it did. Democrats were more mixed on the issue: 49 percent said there was no link while 42 percent believed there was. Fifty-six percent of independents meanwhile said there was no connection while 33 percent said there was.

The poll surveyed 673 adults by telephone and carries a sampling error of 4 percent.

And from CBS polling:

A sizable majority of Americans said they did not believe that harsh political rhetoric was the reason a gunman opened fire over the weekend in Tucson, killing six and wounding 14, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, according to a CBS News poll released Tuesday.

According to the CBS News poll, 57% of those surveyed said the strident tones that have marked the national political debate in recent years had nothing to do with the Saturday shooting of Giffords and 19 others at a supermarket where the congresswoman had gone to meet constituents. The poll found that 32% said political language played a part.

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