43% Say Rittenhouse Did Stupid Things, But Is Not a Murderer

Forty-three percent (43%) of voters who have heard of the Rittenhouse trial believe Kyle Rittenhouse did stupid things but is not a murderer. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 25% believe he is a murderer and 13% see him as a hero.

Most Republicans (56%) believe that Rittenhouse did stupid things but is not a murderer. A plurality of Democrats (44%) believe he is a murderer. Among Independent voters, 42% say he did stupid things, 22% say he’s a murderer, and 10% view him as a hero.

Among those who rely upon Fox News, 50% say Rittenhouse did stupid things while 13% see him as a murderer. Those who rely upon CNN are more evenly divided: 37% say he did stupid things and 34% say Rittenhouse is a murderer.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of all voters say they followed news about the trial closely. That includes 27% who followed it Very Closely. At the other extreme, 6% had never heard of the trial and 9% weren’t following it at all.

Among those who had heard of the case, 74% knew that Rittenhouse had been found not guilty of all charges.

People who understood the facts of the case were more likely than others to see Rittenhouse as someone who did stupid things rather than as a murderer. For example, those who mistakenly believe he shot three Black men were evenly divided between whether he was a murderer or someone who did stupid things.

However, among those who knew the shooting victims were not Black, most (54%) believe he did stupid things but was not a murderer. Just 22% of those who knew the reality saw him as a murderer.

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Note: Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any affiliation with Rasmussen Reports. While Scott Rasmussen founded that firm, he left more than seven years ago and has had no involvement since that time.

Question 1:

How closely have you followed recent news stories about the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse?

27%    Very closely

38%    Somewhat closely

17%    Not very closely

9%    Not at all

6%    Never heard of it

2%    Not sure

Question 2:

[Asked of those who had heard of the trial] Which of the following best describes the result of the trial?

8%    Rittenhouse was found guilty of murder.

74%    Rittenhouse was found not guilty of all charges against him.

6%    Rittenhouse was found guilty on some of the charges, but not all of them.

12%    Not sure

Question 3:

[Asked of those who had heard of the trial] Do you agree or disagree with the outcome of the trial?

34%    Strongly agree

22%    Somewhat agree

9%    Somewhat disagree

18%    Strongly disagree

17%    Not sure

Question 4:

[Asked of those who had heard of the trial] Which of the following best describes your view of Kyle Rittenhouse?

25%    He’s a murderer

13%    He’s a hero

43%    He made stupid decisions but is not a murderer

20%    Not sure


The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted online by Scott Rasmussen on November 22-23, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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