Do Republicans support the death penalty

Since 1936, Gallup has been asking Americans, "Are you in favor of the death penalty for a person convicted of murder?" The percentage of Americans in favor of the death penalty has fluctuated significantly over the years, ranging from a low of 42% in 1966, during a revival of the anti-death penalty movement, to a high of 80% in 1994. More recently, public opinion on the death penalty has been more stable, with upward of two in three Americans supporting it.

Gallup has asked Americans this question at least twice a year since 2001. To examine responses to this question more closely, Gallup combined the results of the nine surveys that asked this question from 2001 through 2004 on a year-by-year basis*. Overall, the data show that 67% of Americans supported the death penalty for convicted murderers in 2001. This percentage increased slightly to 71% in 2002, before dropping back to 67% in 2003. Results for this year show essentially no change since last year.

Politics and Capital Punishment

Republicans' and Democrats' opinions on the death penalty differ, although a majority in both groups endorses it. Eighty percent of Republicans support the death penalty, while 65% of independents and 58% of Democrats support it.

Americans who identify themselves as political conservatives are also more likely to support the death penalty than are moderates or liberals. Nearly three in four conservatives (74%) support capital punishment, compared with 68% of moderates and 54% of liberals.

Men vs. Women on the Death Penalty

Although a majority of both men and women support the death penalty, men are much more likely to do so than are women. More than 7 in 10 men (74%) support the death penalty, compared with 62% of women.

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