Public backs prosecution as blacks slowly turn against Cosby

January 06, 2016, 3:43 PM GMT+0

Most people approve of the prosecution of Bill Cosby, but black Americans are less certain

More than a year after the tide of public opinion began to turn against Bill Cosby due to allegations of sexual assault the actor and comedian is facing criminal charges for the first time. Prosecutors have filed charges against Cosby for assault on a woman in 2004, alleging that he drugged and then assaulted her. Cosby has paid $1 million in bail and his lawyers insist that he will be vindicated in court.

The latest research from YouGov shows that Bill Cosby continues to be very unpopular with the American public. 61% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Cosby, up from 30% in November 2014. Only 22% have a favorable opinion of him, down from 51% of November 2014 and 90% in 1997.

Most Americans (59%) support the decision by Pennsylvania prosecutors to charge him with sexual assault. Only 14% of Americans oppose it. A majority of almost every demographic group support the decision to prosecute him, but black Americans are a notable exception. Black Americans narrowly approve (35%) rather than disapprove (28%) of the decision to prosecutve Cosby for sexual assault.

Most Americans (53%) believe the accusations by women who were allegedly sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby and only 10% say that they do not believe the accusations. Among black Americans, the percentage saying that they do not believe the accusations has dropped from 26% in October to 13% today, while the percentage saying that they believe the accusations has increased from 32% to 39%.

Full poll results can be found here and topline results and margin of error here.

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