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Public Opinion Polls - JFK Assassination by the Numbers.

If it was an election it would be a landslide. Thanks to Jim DiEugenio at CTKA and Probe and J.P. Mroz for these links in the footnotes to his Wicki article.

http://www.ctka.net/2010/wiki.html

54. Lydia Saad, Americans: Kennedy Assassination Conspiracy, Gallup, Inc., November 21, 2003.

55. Gary Langer, John F. Kennedy’s Assassination Leaves a Legacy of Suspicion ABC News, November 16, 2003

56. Dana Blanton, Poll: Most Believe ‘Cover-Up’ of JFK Assassination Facts, Fox News, June 18, 2004

November 21, 2003

Americans: Kennedy Assassination a Conspiracy

No consensus about who was involved

by Lydia Saad

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans are skeptical of the official conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he assassinated President John F. Kennedy 40 years ago, but there is no consensus about which conspiracy theory to believe.

Three-quarters of Americans recently told Gallup that they think more than one man was involved in Kennedy's assassination. Only 19% of Americans think it was the work of one individual. When asked who else might have been behind the assassination, no more than 37% of the public believes any single entity or individual was involved.

The most commonly believed theory is that the Mafia was involved (37%), followed closely by speculation that the CIA was involved (34%). Only 18% of Americans think that Kennedy's vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson, was involved -- a theory advanced in a History Channel film on Monday, and sharply rebuked by former Johnson aides as a "smear." Even fewer, 15% each, think the Cubans or the Soviet Union were involved.

Involved in the Assassination of JFK?

Overall, 63% of Americans believe at least one of the five theories tested, while 37% do not believe any of them.

A Popular Figure

Kennedy is well regarded by Americans today. The public is equally likely to mention Kennedy as Abraham Lincoln (17% each) when asked to name the greatest U.S. president. In fact, Kennedy has ranked first or second on this question in the five times Gallup has asked it since 1999. Kennedy exceeds all of the recent U.S. presidents on this measure today, although with 13%, Ronald Reagan comes close, ranking third. Nine percent mention Bill Clinton; George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter each receive 3%.

Who do you regard as the greatest United States President?

Nov 10-12, 2003

%

John Kennedy 17

Abraham Lincoln 17

Ronald Reagan 13

Franklin Roosevelt 11

Bill Clinton 9

George Washington 7

George W. Bush 4

Harry Truman 3

Thomas Jefferson 3

Theodore Roosevelt 3

Jimmy Carter 2

Dwight Eisenhower 2

George Bush (the elder) 2

Richard Nixon 1

Other 2

None

No opinion 4

Moreover, more than four in five Americans consider Kennedy to have been either a "great" (43%) or a "good" (42%) president; only 14% of Americans consider him to have been fair or poor. This assessment is similar to what Gallup found in 1993, and slightly improved from 20 years ago, when only 31% said history would remember him as a great president. (These positive views of Kennedy's presidency are not merely historical revisionism on the part of the public. While in office, Kennedy was also very highly rated by the public; in fact, he had the highest average job approval rating (70%) of any president in Gallup's history.)

How do you think John F. Kennedy will go down in history -- as a great president, a good president, a fair president, or a poor president?

Seven in 10 Americans approve of Kennedy personally -- a measure distinct from their views of his performance as president.

Apart from whether you approve or disapprove of the way John F. Kennedy handled his job as president, what do you think of Kennedy as a person? Would you say you approve or disapprove of him?

Unlike in Kennedy's lifetime, when the press either avoided reporting or was unaware of Kennedy's alleged philandering, his affairs have become public fodder in recent years. However, it appears that Kennedy's reputation remains mostly intact. In a mid-November CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, Americans aged 40 and older were asked if the revelations about Kennedy that have come to light after his death have changed their views of him. The majority of Americans in that age group (73%) say no, while only 22% say they have.

Whither Vietnam?

Kennedy supported U.S. military involvement in Vietnam as an effort to prevent the fall of South Vietnam to communism, and to stem its spread to Southeast Asia. However, under Johnson, the Vietnam "problem" became the Vietnam "conflict," and the repercussions of the war were so negative on public ratings of Johnson that he was compelled to not seek re-election in 1968. There has long been debate about whether this ratcheting up of involvement would have occurred if Kennedy had not been killed. Americans are equally divided at 44% on this question.

If Kennedy had not been assassinated, do you think the U.S. would -- or would not -- have become involved in a full-scale war in Vietnam?

Additional Findings

There is broad public agreement that Oswald was part of a conspiracy to kill Kennedy, and fondness for Kennedy as a president and a person can be found in most quarters of society. Still, within this broad outline, some interesting distinctions appear in the data.

· Belief in a conspiracy surrounding the Kennedy assassination declines with age. Nearly 9 in 10 18- to 29-year-olds (87%) believe Oswald was part of a conspiracy, compared with just 61% among those 65 and older.

· Republicans are almost twice as likely as Democrats to believe Oswald acted alone (28% vs. 16%).

· Support for the theories that either the Mafia or the CIA participated in the assassination plot is higher among those aged 18 to 49 than those over 50. By contrast, those over 50 appear slightly more likely to believe that the Soviet Union or the Cubans were involved. Support for the theory that Johnson was involved is similar by age.

Involved in the Assassination of JFK?

by Age

· Seniors are less likely than those under 65 to consider Kennedy to have been a great president. Only 33% of those 65 and older rate him "great" versus 43% to 45% of those in the younger age categories.

· Ratings of Kennedy are not as partisan as one might expect. The percentage rating him "great" is just 51% among Democrats, and is only moderately lower (33%) among Republicans. The total percentage rating Kennedy great or good is 93% among Democrats, 84% among independents, and 77% among Republicans.

· Ratings of Kennedy as a person are perhaps more partisan than one would expect. Eighty-three percent of Democrats, but only 53% of Republicans, say they approve of Kennedy as a person. Independents are more closely aligned with Democrats than Republicans on this measure, with 72% saying they approve of Kennedy as a person.

· Republicans in the 40+-age range are twice as likely as Democrats of that age group to say that revelations about Kennedy since his death have reduced their opinion of him (25% of Republicans vs. 13% of Democrats).

Survey Methods

These results are based on two recent national surveys. The first was conducted Nov. 10-12, 2003, and is based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,004 adults, aged 18 and older. The second was conducted Nov. 14-16, 2003, and is also based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,004 adults, aged 18 and older. For results based on sample of this size, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

18. Who do you regard as the greatest United States President?

19. Turning now to the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, do you think that one man was responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy, or do you think that others were involved in a conspiracy?

BASED ON –533—NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A

One man

Others involved

No opinion

2003 Nov 10-12 ^

19

75

6

2001 Mar 26-28

13

81

6

1993 Nov 15-16

15

75

10

1992 Feb †

10

77

13

1983 Oct †

11

74

15

1976 Dec ‡

11

81

9

1966 Dec ‡

36

50

15

1963 Nov ‡

29

52

19

Asked of a half sample

Wording included "one man, Lee Harvey Oswald,…"

Slight variations in wording:

1963 - "Do you think that the man who shot President Kennedy acted on his own, or was some group or element also responsible?"

1966 - "Do you think that one man was responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy, or do you think others were involved?"

1976 - "Do you think that one man was responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy, or do you think others were involved?"

20. There have been many theories about who was involved in the assassination. I'd like to know if you think any of the following were involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Do you think – [iTEMS ROTATED, "LYNDON JOHNSON" READ LAST] – was/were involved in the assassination, or don't you think so?

BASED ON –471—NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM

2003 Nov 10-12

(sorted by "yes, involved")

Yes,

involved

No, not

involved

Oswald acted

alone (vol.)

No

opinion

The Mafia

37

56

--

7

The CIA

34

60

--

6

Lyndon Johnson

18

75

--

7

The Cubans

15

78

--

7

The Soviet Union

15

77

*

8

21. How do you think John F. Kennedy will go down in history – as a great president, a good president, a fair president, or a poor president?

Great

president

Good

president

Fair

president

Poor

president

No

opinion

2003 Nov 10-12

43

42

13

1

1

1993 Nov 15-16

41

37

17

3

2

1983 Oct 14-31 ^

31

44

18

3

4

Gallup/Newsweek Poll.

22. If Kennedy had not been assassinated, do you think the U.S. would – or would not – have become involved in a full-scale war in Vietnam

Yes, would have

No, would not have

No opinion

2003 Nov 10-12

44

44

12

1983 Oct 14-31 ^

37

40

23

Gallup/Newsweek Poll.

46. Apart from whether you approve or disapprove of the way John F. Kennedy handled his job as president, what do you think of Kennedy as a person? Would you say you approve or disapprove of him?

Approve

Disapprove

No opinion

2003 Nov 14-16

70%

24

6

47. Have the revelations about John F. Kennedy's personal life that came out after his death changed your view of him – [ROTATED: for the better, has it had no effect, or has it changed your view for the worse]?

BASED –677—ADULTS AGED 40 AND OLDER

ABC NEWS POLL: WHO KILLED JFK? – 11/9/03

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE AFTER 9 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, 2003

John F. Kennedy's Assassination

Leaves a Legacy of Suspicion

Forty years later, suspicions of a conspiracy endure: Seven in 10 Americans think the assassination of John F. Kennedy was the result of a plot, not the act of a lone killer – and a bare majority thinks that plot included a second shooter on Dealey Plaza.

Just 32 percent accept the Warren Commission's 1964 finding that Lee Harvey Oswald alone shot Kennedy as his motorcade passed through downtown Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Fifty-one percent think there was a second gunman, and seven percent go so far as to think Oswald wasn't involved at all.

More broadly, in addition to the 70 percent of Americans who think there was some sort of plot behind the killings, 68 percent think there was "an official cover-up" to hide the truth about the assassination from the public, and about as many, 65 percent, think that "important unanswered questions" remain, four decades after Kennedy's death.

22%11%13%24%35%34%70%73%80%60%44%46%0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Nov-03Dec-91Nov-83Sep-67Feb-67Sep-66

Kennedy Assassination, 40 Years Later

Source: ABC News, Harris, Time/CNN polls

Suspect a plot

Think it was one man

While such suspicions are well-documented – and well-stoked by conspiracy theorists – for many people they're guesses, not convictions. In a new follow-up question, fewer

than half of Americans, four in 10, say they're "pretty sure" there was a plot; another three in 10 say it's just a hunch. Similarly, half of those who suspect a second shooter say this, too, is just their hunch.

Official conclusions have varied. While the Warren Commission found no conspiracy, the House Select Committee on Assassinations reported in 1979 that Kennedy "was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy" and that acoustical evidence demonstrated a "high probability" that a second gunman was involved. The panel said it was "unable to identify the other gunman or the extent of the conspiracy."

This ABC News poll was done in conjunction with a two-hour ABC News special, "Peter Jennings Reporting: The Kennedy Assassination – Beyond Conspiracy," airing 9-11 p.m. (EST) Thursday, Nov. 20. The program includes a computer-generated reconstruction of the shooting that confirms that Oswald was the lone gunman. And it finds no persuasive evidence of a conspiracy to kill the president.

TREND – Suspicion has been long-running; as far back as 1966, a Harris poll found that 46 percent of Americans thought there was a "broader plot" in the assassination. This jumped to 60 percent in 1967, after New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison filed charges alleging a conspiracy (the man he charged, Clay Shaw, was acquitted in 1969).

Belief in a broader plot peaked at 80 percent in a 1983 ABC News poll; it's since eased a bit, to today's 70 percent. Similarly, the number of people who think there was an official cover-up has moved back from its peak, 81 percent in 1993, to 68 percent now.

THE FILM – The director Oliver Stone reinvigorated the debate with the December 1991 release of "JFK," his film based on Garrison's investigation. The movie today is widely known – four in 10 Americans say they've seen it, and nearly as many have heard or read about it. But its impact on public opinion is debatable.

Twenty percent of Americans say the film made them more likely to think there was a conspiracy behind the assassination. But many of them may have held that view even without the film's influence. The overall number who suspect a conspiracy is the same now as it was in a poll leading up to the movie's release, before many people had a chance to see it. And as noted, suspicions of a plot peaked in 1983, long before the film was made.

The movie in any case has attracted a conspiracy-minded crowd. Suspicion of a plot peaks at 81 percent of those who've seen it, compared to about six in 10 of those who've only heard or read about it, or don't know about it at all. Similarly, 63 percent of viewers suspect there was a second gunman; that declines to 43 percent of those who haven't seen the film. And 78 percent of viewers suspect a cover-up, compared to 61 percent of non-viewers. But this doesn't necessarily mean that seeing the movie creates suspicion; it could be instead that suspicious people have been drawn to the film.

GROUPS – Older Americans – those who were adults at the time of the assassination – are less likely than others to suspect a plot or cover-up, or to say important facts remain unanswered. And suspicions of a second gunman, in particular, peak among those who hadn't been born yet.

Among people aged 65 and older, 39 percent think there was a second gunman; this jumps to 53 percent of those younger than 65 (and a high of 58 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds). Fifty-nine percent of older adults suspect a broader plot, compared to 72 percent of those younger than 65; and 56 percent of those 65 and older think there was an official cover-up; among those under than 65, this rises to 70 percent.

Age 18-64 Age 65+

Think unanswered questions remain 68% 50

Suspect a conspiracy 72 59

Suspect a second gunman 53 39

Suspect a cover-up 70 56

In another difference between groups, nonwhites are more apt than white Americans to suspect a broader plot, a second gunman and a cover-up, and to say important questions about the Kennedy assassination remain unanswered.

METHODOLOGY – This ABC News poll was conducted by telephone Nov. 5-9, 2003, among a random national sample of 1,031 adults. The results have a three-point error margin.

Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa.

Analysis by Gary Langer.

ABC News polls can be found at ABCNEWS.com on the Internet at:

<http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/PollVault/PollVault.html>

Media contacts: Cathie Levine, (212) 456-4934 or Lisa Finkel, (212) 456-6190.

Results follow.

*= less than 0.5 percent

1. As you may know, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, 40 years ago this month. From what you know about it, do you think (the important facts about the assassination have been reported) or do you think (there are still important unanswered questions about the assassination?)

Been reported Still unanswered No opin. 11/9/03 29 65 7 11/7/83 18 76 6

2. Do you feel the Kennedy assassination was the work of one man, or was it part of a broader plot? Do you feel pretty sure about that, or is that just your hunch? ------One man----- --Broader plot-- No NET Sure Hunch NET Sure Hunch opin. 11/9/03 22 14 8 70 39 31 8 12/22/91* 11 NA NA 73 NA NA 16 11/7/83 13 NA NA 80 NA NA 7 9/67** 24 NA NA 60 NA NA 16 2/67** 35 NA NA 44 NA NA 21 9/66** 34 NA NA 46 NA NA 20

*Time/CNN; wording: Do you think that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the Kennedy assassination or do you think that there was a conspiracy that included other people?

**Harris Poll

3. Do you think Lee Harvey Oswald was the only gunman in the Kennedy assassination, do you think there was another gunman in addition to Oswald there that day, or do you think Oswald was not involved in the assassination at all? Do you feel pretty sure about that, or is that just your hunch?

---Only Oswald--- --Another gunman-- ----Not Oswald--- No NET Sure Hunch NET Sure Hunch NET Sure Hunch opin. 11/9/03 32 21 11 51 27 24 7 4 3 10

4. Do you think there was or was not an official cover-up to keep the public from learning the truth about the Kennedy assassination?

Was Was not No opin. 11/9/03 68 24 8 11/17/98* 74 13 13 5/07/98 68 18 14 10/7/93 81 12 7 1/25/92 75 13 12 10/10/88 61 17 22 *1998 and 1993, CBS; 1992 and 1988, CBS/New York Times.

5. Do you remember seeing, or hearing or reading, about a 1991 movie about the Kennedy assassination from the director Oliver Stone, called JFK, or not? ----Saw/Heard/Read---- NET Saw Heard/Read Didn't No opin.

11/9/03 77 41 37 22 1

6. (IF SAW/HEARD READ, Q5) Did that movie make you more likely or less likely to think there was a conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination, or didn't it change your opinion much?

More Less No change No opin. 11/9/03 26 2 64 8

5/6 NET ALL RESPONDENTS ---------Saw/Hear/Read-------- NET More Less No change DK Didn't No opin. 11/9/03 77 20 2 50 6 22 1

FOX – HARRIS

Poll: Most Believe 'Cover-Up' of JFK Assassination Facts

Friday, June 18, 2004

By Dana Blanton

A majority of the public believes the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (search) was part of a larger conspiracy, not the act of one individual. In addition, most Americans think there was a cover-up of facts about the 1963 shooting.

On the 40th anniversary of JFK's assassination, a recent FOX News poll shows most Americans disagree with the government's conclusions about the killing. The Warren Commission (search) found that Lee Harvey Oswald (search) acted alone when he shot Kennedy, but 66 percent of the public today think the assassination was "part of a larger conspiracy" while only 25 percent think it was the "act of one individual." These new poll results are similar to previous surveys conducted by Louis Harris and Associates in 1967, 1975 and 1981, when about two-thirds also felt the shooting was part of a larger conspiracy.

The FOX News poll, conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corporation (search), also shows that most Americans (74 percent) think there was a cover-up of the facts about the assassination of JFK. Few people (14 percent) think "we know all the facts" and 12 percent are unsure.

"For older Americans the Kennedy assassination was a traumatic experience that began a loss of confidence in government," comments Opinion Dynamics President John Gorman. "Younger people have grown up with movies and documentaries that have pretty much pushed the 'conspiracy' line. Therefore, it isn't surprising there is a fairly solid national consensus that we still don't know the truth."

Despite a majority believing there was a cover-up, there is widespread agreement that no additional inquiries should be done — 74 percent say the government should not conduct another investigation into the assassination, compared to 20 percent who think it should.

There are few differences between demographic groups on these questions, with the most noticeable gap a partisan one. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to think President Kennedy's assassination was part of a larger conspiracy (73 percent to 58 percent), and also more likely to think there was a cover-up (81 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of Republicans).

Polling was conducted by telephone October 14-15, 2003 in the evenings. The sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points.

1. This November is the 40th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Do you feel that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the act of one individual or part of a larger conspiracy?

Act of one individual

Larger conspiracy

(Not sure)

14-15 Oct 03

25%

66

9

• Democrats

20%

73

7

• Republicans

31%

58

11

• Independents

24%

67

9

Mar 1981*

21%

67

12

Oct 1975*

20%

66

14

May 1967*

19%

66

15

*Harris: "Do you feel that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the act of one individual or part of a larger conspiracy?"

2. Do you think that we know all the facts about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy or do you think there was a cover up?

We know all the facts

There was a cover up

(Not sure)

All

14%

74

12

Democrats

11%

81

8

Republicans

18%

69

13

Independents

12%

71

17

3. Do you think the government should conduct another investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy?

Yes

No

(Not sure)

All

20%

74

6

Democrats

27%

68

4

Republicans

16%

78

7

Independents

14%

80

5

http://jfkcountercoup.wordpress.com/

The public opinion poll that really matters is the one on public confidence and trust in the government, which the Pew Foundation began taking in early 1964, shortly after the assassination. It reflects the same stats as those who believe in a conspiracy - 80% of the people.

The HSCA, the FOIAct, the JFK Act, the ARRB and the new Declassification Board all cite this stat as the one that investigatons and releases of files should rectify, but they haven't.

http://jfkcountercou...-in-government/

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