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Changing v. Stable Views on Issues

Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport has this brief video on how the public's views change drastically on some issues and very little on others. Of all the issues Gallup polls on, Newport chooses the death penalty as the example of an issue with very stable polling results.  The "yes" answer to Gallup's basic question was 59% in 1939, 63% last December.  Interracial marriage, in contrast, has gone from near-unanimous rejection to overwhelming approval in about half a century.

The anti-DP propaganda machine wants you to think that public support for the death penalty is collapsing.  The people who poll as a profession don't think so.

As I have explained previously, Gallup's basic question understates actual support for the death penalty.  It is useful for examining long-term trends, though, simply because of the length of time Gallup has been asking it.

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