A new nationwide Clarus Poll found that only 25 percent of registered voters believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing President John F. Kennedy, while 45 percent believe the assassination was the result of a conspiracy that involved multiple collaborators. The remainder, 30 percent, said they are not sure what happened.
Of the 45 percent who said they believe there was a conspiracy:
- 13 percent said the plot was hatched by right wing extremists
- 10 percent picked the CIA
- 9 percent fingered the Mafia
- 5 percent said Soviet Communists
- 4 percent believe Fidel Castro was behind it
“In the minds of many people, this is still an unsolved crime,” said Ron Faucheux, president of the nonpartisan Clarus Research Group. “The Kennedy assassination is not only history embedded in culture, it’s Americans fascinated by the legend, mystery and saga.”
“It’s remarkable that after 50 years, 70 percent of the American people have opinions on what happened that day in Dallas, and over four-in-ten can name specific entities they believe sponsored a conspiracy,” said Faucheux.
- Democrats are more likely to believe that right wing extremists behind the murder (18 percent) than were Republicans (8 percent) or independents (10 percent). Republicans are more likely to say the Mafia (17 percent) than were Democrats (5 percent) or independents (5 percent)
- Overall, there was little difference between Democrats and Republicans in their views on whether there was a conspiracy, with 28 percent of Republicans and 26 percent of Democrats concluding that Oswald acted alone, with 21 percent of independents believing he did.
- Slightly more men than women believe Oswald acted alone (27 percent to 24 percent).
- More whites (29 percent) than African Americans (15 percent) or Hispanics (21 percent) said Oswald acted alone.
ABOUT THE POLL: The poll was conducted Nov. 5-11, 2013 by the nonpartisan Clarus Research Group through live telephone interviews via landlines and cell phones of a representative, random nationwide of 1,000 self-identified registered voters. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%.