Poll: Lingering Suspicion Over JFK Assassination

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.


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.

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.


This ABCNEWS poll was conducted by telephone Nov. 5-9, among a random national sample of 1,031 adults. The results have a three-point error margin. Sampling, data collection and tabulation was conducted by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa.

Previous ABCNEWS polls can be found in our Poll Vault.

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