Public tends to believe Thomas

October 14, 1991|By Los Angeles Times

A narrow majority of Americans say that they believe Judge Clarence Thomas' denial that he sexually harassed Anita F. Hill, a Los Angeles Times Poll has found.

Despite Ms. Hill's accusations, 51 percent of those surveyed believe that the Senate should confirm Judge Thomas, while 25 percent believe he should be rejected.

Thirty-seven percent of those polled said that they believe that Ms. Hill was telling the truth, but 46 percent said that they thought the charges were false. When asked whose version of events they tended to believe more, those polled sided with Judge Thomas, 48 percent to 35 percent.

The poll surveyed 1,264 Americans, from 7 p.m. EDT Saturday until 7 p.m. EDT yesterday. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points

The poll found only a moderate gender gap between men and women on several questions. Men believed Judge Thomas by a 20 percentage point plurality, while women leaned toward the judge's version of events by a 6-point plurality. Just 34 percent of men said they believed Ms. Hill's charges, as compared with 41 percent of women.

The gulf between whites and blacks was greater. Sixty-one percent of blacks support his confirmation, up from 55 percent in September. Among whites, support has dropped from 55 percent in September to 50 percent in the latest survey.

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