Gallup shock: Just 7% following Kermit Gosnell abortion trial 'very closely'

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Polls,Abortion

The public is ignoring the sensational Philadelphia murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, despite increased coverage by the mainstream media prompted by criticism from conservative groups, making it one of the least followed stories in Gallup poll history.

What's more, even among those closely following the trial and extended jury deliberations which could conclude today, just 46 percent want more coverage while 47 percent believe the media is providing enough or too much coverage.

The Gallup poll of 1,535 conducted over five days is likely to come as a shock to conservatives who succeeded in pushing the media into covering the trial more. Gallup found that just 7 percent of the public is following the case "very closely" and 54 percent "not at all."

And even when Gallup combined those watching the case "very closely" with the 18 percent following it "somewhat closely," for a total of 25 percent, "that is well below the 61 percent average level of attention Americans have paid to the more than 200 news stories Gallup has measured since 1991."

The agency added: "This makes the Gosnell case one of the least followed news stories Gallup has measured."

Overall, the poll found that the public hasn't changed its view of making abortion available. As in the past, 26 percent favor legalized abortion under any circumstances, 13 percent favor legality under most circumstances, 38 percent favor it in only in a few circumstances, and 20 percent said it should be banned.

But Gallup, in analyzing the findings, said it couldn't determine if the public's attitude was due to the lack of media coverage of the trial or because it has really had no impact on their views of abortion.

Even among the 784 closely watching the case, 46 percent said the coverage was lacking. But 47 percent said the media was providing the "right amount" or "too much" coverage of the Gosnell trial.