The George Zimmerman trial didn't earn as many viewers as the O.J. Simpson trial 18 years ago, but among African Americans, it was nearly as big a deal.

A new Pew Research Center poll shows 42 percent of Americans followed the Zimmerman trial at least "some," compared to 53 percent who watched the Simpson trial in 1995 at least that much.

Among African Americans, though, interest was almost as high as it was back then, with 67 percent watching the Zimmerman trial and 71 percent watching the Simpson trial.

The Pew poll also shows that 43 percent of African Americans watched "a lot" or "almost all" of the trail. That number among whites was just 13 percent.

Overall, 56 percent of African Americans say they were following the trial "very closely," while 20 percent of whites said the same.

That racial gap ranks among the highest when it comes to major racial incidents in America over the last two-plus decades.