Floridians generally support the firearm self-defense law that George Zimmerman will use as part of his defense in the Trayvon Martin case, but they also support him being charged with second-degree murder because they think he is guilty.
42% of Florida voters support the "Stand Your Ground" law, and 32% oppose it. Republicans overwhelmingly support it (60-13), and independents like it as well (45-31), but Democrats oppose it (24-50).
49% think Zimmerman was appropriately charged, while 25% think he was not. The verdict is more narrow when it comes to his actual guilt of said charge--31% believe he is guilty, and 26% think him innocent. Despite the hullabaloo, 46% believe Zimmerman will be able to receive a fair trial, and 37% think he cannot.
Floridians generally do not believe Zimmerman was motivated by racism when he killed Martin--only 32% think he was, and 45% think he wasn't.
There is also a generational divide. 68% of voters under 30 support the murder charge, and that goes down to 58% to 45% to 40% across the age spectrum. Similarly, 58% of young voters think Zimmerman guilty, versus 38%, 23%, and 25% of their elders. 63% of the youth think Zimmerman was motivated by racism, while 40%, 52%, and 48% of the older age brackets think he was not.
There is also a gender gap on these questions. For example, women only support "Stand Your Ground" by a 33-32 mark, but men do by a 53-31 spread. Women believe Zimmerman guilty by a 39-18 margin, but men think him not guilty (23-34). Women narrowly think he was motivated by racism (41-35), but men strongly don't (22-55).
We also asked about the recent comments Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen made about Fidel Castro. He said, "I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that son of a b**** is still there." For that remark, the Marlins voluntarily suspended their own manager for five games.
Despite no longer being in power, and most of the state's Cuban population having never lived in that country, Castro is still a reviled figure. 86% have an unfavorable opinion of him, and only 4% a favorable one.
Guillen himself is not so well-known, but he is disliked. Two-thirds of Floridians have no opinion about Guillen, despite his infamy in baseball circles for all the controversial statements he has made in the past. But the opinions of the rest are unmistakeable: only 7% see him positively and 26% negatively. That is worst with Hispanic voters (8-39).
Similarly, 52% are not sure how they feel about what Guillen actually said, or are not even familiar with it. But those who do know what he said split 39-8 in feeling his comments were inappropriate rather than appropriate.
But among the folks who are aware of what he said about Castro, there is some sympathy. A 30% plurality believe the five-game suspension was the proper punishment, and 27% think he shouldn't have been suspended at all. With Hispanic voters, a 37% plurality think he shouldn't have been punished, and 23% think the suspension was about right. 39% of all voters familiar with his comments think he should've been fired (22%) or suspended longer than five games (17%); that is only 18% and 16% with Hispanics.
Both of Florida's Major League Baseball teams have struggled mightily with attendance for most of their existence, even when both have had several good seasons on the field. It's no wonder: two-thirds of voters don't root for either the Marlins or the Tampa Bay Rays. 19% prefer the Rays, who have had more recent success, and 15% the Marlins, who just opened a new stadium.
Full results here