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Still More on the Cal DP Poll

In the last post, I noted the apparent major shift in support for the death penalty among African-Americans and speculated it might be a generational shift. I asked Mark DiCamillo of the Field Poll by email about this, and he graciously responded:

Regarding the African-American results, the sample included interviews with 119 African-Americans, so the results of a sample of this size have a margin of error of +/- 9.8 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.  So, while the 63 -28 distribution that we reported is subject to considerable random variation and could include distributions of closer to 55-35.  Also, because of the small sample size we are unable to examine the views of subgroups of the African-American population so comparisons of younger and older African-Americans can not reliably be made from this survey.
Even at the low end of the confidence interval, this would still be a major shift, from about even to a 20-point lead.

The generational shift hypothesis will have to wait for more data.

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