If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


More Now Favor the Death Penalty

President Trump has long been calling for more use of the death penalty, and as prosecutors are now seeking the death penalty for accused Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers, more Americans agree with the president’s call to action, though they’d like to see it carried out more quickly.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 61% of American Adults now favor the death penalty, up from 54% in 2017 but still down from a high of 67% in July 2012, shortly after the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Before that, support had stayed in a narrow range of 60% to 63% since November 2009.

Twenty-three percent (23%) now oppose capital punishment, down from 31% in 2017, while 15% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on October 29-30, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Want to read more?

Become a Rasmussen Reader to read the article

Have an account?

Log In

Become a Reader


Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.