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Long-term trends, however, continued to show declining death-penalty support among all demographic groups.Support fell from 78% in 1996, to 64% in 2007, to 54% in 2018.That decline was sharpest among Democrats, whose support had dropped 36 percentage points since 1996, with support among Independents falling 25 percentage points during that period, and Republican support fallen 10 percentage points.(Baxter Oliphant, Public support for the death penalty ticks up, Pew Research, June 11, 2018; Mark Berman, American support for the death penalty inches up, poll finds, The Washington Post, June 11, 2018.) POLL: Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose Death Penalty for Overdose Deaths A March 16-21, 2018 nationwide Quinnipiac University poll found Americans of all ages, races, and political affiliations overwhelmingly opposed to the Trump administration plan to pursue capital punishment for drug overdose deaths and said they believed using the death penalty in those case would not help in fighting the opiod public health crisis.Gallup said the five percentage-point decline—which represented an 8% decrease in the level of support for the death penalty nationwide over the course of the last year—"continue[s] a trend toward diminished death penalty support" in the United States.The poll also reported opposition to the death penalty at 41%, the highest level in 45 years.73% of women and 70% of men opposed the plan, as did 69% of Whites, Hispanics, and Independents.
Opposition to the use of the death penalty for drug-overdose sales was highest among African Americans (90%), Democrats (87%), voters aged 18-34 (82%), and college-educated Whites (77%). adults who said they believe the death penalty is unfairly applied rose to 45%, the highest since Gallup began asking the question, and the four-percentage-point difference between the two responses was the smallest in the history of Gallup's polling. adults said the death penalty was imposed either "too often" (29%) or "about the right amount" (28%).Gallup measured overall support for capital punishment at 56%.The last time Gallup reported higher opposition to the death penalty was 51 years ago, in May 1966, when 47% of respondents said they opposed capital punishment.The 2017 Gallup results simultaneously reflected a party-based divergence in views on the death penalty and a steep decline in support among the most avid death-penalty proponents.
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Democrats split on that question at 47%-46% in favor of abolition, but substantial majorities of every other demographic opposed abolition.