This new CNN poll on the Tucson mass shooting seems like bad news for Sarah Palin:
QUESTION: Overall, how much do you blame each of the following for the shooting in Arizona -- a great deal, a moderate amount, not much, or not at all?
The laws under which guns are bought and sold in this country
Great deal 30% ... Moderate amount 22% ... Not much 14% ... Not at all 33%
The use of harsh rhetoric and violent metaphors by politicians and commentators
Great deal 25% ... Moderate amount 23% ... Not much 17% ... Not at all 32%
A map on Sarah Palin's website that marked 20 congressional districts, including the district represented by the congresswoman who was shot, with an image that looked like the crosshairs of a gun
Great deal 19% ... Moderate amount 16% ... Not much 15% ... Not at all 44%
The resources available to deal with people who may be mentally ill
Great deal 41% ... Moderate amount 29% ... Not much 13% ... Not at all 15%
So a substantial minority -- 35 percent -- blame the Palin map either a great deal or a moderate amount for what happened in Tucson.
Granted polls don't do nuance well, but that number should be 0 percent. My colleagues Steve Kornacki and Alex Pareene had a good exchange last week on whether inflammatory rhetoric on the right may have helped precipitate Jared Loughner's rampage. There's a real argument to be had. But there is simply no evidence that the Palin crosshairs map had anything to do with what Loughner did.