Quick reaction to the fact that 42% of voters still support the “Stand Your Ground” law that George Zimmerman will use as a defense for shooting Trayvon Martin (32% oppose). If this legislation was dubbed the “Shoot First” bill, you would see the poll numbers reversed. Alternatively, if the legislation was explained to voters, the polling would likely change again – and I’m assuming some of that 42% would go away.
The problem is that the bill is branded well. Just as crucially, it was branded first. When it comes to legislation, branding is the first, and sometimes most important, battle. Changing public opinion on legislation is tough at it is – changing public opinion on language that polls well is almost impossible.
Recent examples in Florida: Fair Districts, Save our Homes, Vaccine Access Act.