That is the long non-secret about polling and finally, someone has asked about capital punishment correctly, as reported from the Crime & Consequences Blog.
As we have noted a number of times on this blog, the question wording in polls about the death penalty produces widely varying results. The most common failure in poll questions on this subject is to ask a question that implies the respondent is being asked to specify a punishment for murder generally rather than the worst murders. Punishment for the worst murders is the actual policy question to be decided. Virtually no one today is arguing we should execute all murderers, yet poll respondents are regularly asked that.
Now we see a ray of light in the darkness. The High Point University/News & Record Poll asked a question that is worded far better than the big boys at Gallup et al. seem to be able to manage. A sample of 446 North Carolina residents were asked between Sept. 26 and Oct. 1:
“Thinking in general about your views of the death penalty, are there any crimes for which you believe people should receive the death penalty?”
Retrieved October 8, 2015 from http://www.crimeandconsequences.com/crimblog/2015/10/a-correctly-worded-death-penal.html#more