A public opinion poll taken on behalf of a group that supports the death penalty indicates Nebraskans will overturn the Unicameral and keep the death penalty on the books.
Nebraskans for the Death Penalty has released results of a survey of 600 likely Nebraska voters by Global Marketing Research Services of Melbourne, Florida.
Honorary co-chair Don Stenberg says those surveyed support the death penalty by a 2-to-1 margin.
“It’s very consistent with earlier polls that I have seen which continues to show a 2-to-1 margin across the state of Nebraska in favor of retaining the death penalty for the worst murderers that we have,” Stenberg tells Nebraska Radio Network in a telephone interview.
The survey was conducted from August 7th to the 10th. Live calls were made to both landlines and cell phones. The survey has a margin of error of 4%.
The survey asked four questions centered on the Unicameral’s approval of LB 268, which repealed the death penalty in Nebraska: Definitely Retain LB 268, which garnered 24.2% support; Probably Retain LB 268 at 6.2%; Definitely Repeal LB 268 at 47.8%; and Probably Repeal LB 268 at 10.5%. Just over 11% of those surveyed remain undecided.
Voters will be asked in November whether to retain LB 268, approved in the 2015 legislative session that eliminated capital punishment in Nebraska, or repeal it.
Nebraskans for the Death Penalty combined the categories into two, arriving at the 58.3-30.3% split to overturn the Unicameral.
The survey was taken after the group Retain a Just Nebraska mounted a $325,000 television and radio campaign in support of the Unicameral’s repeal of the death penalty.
Support seems to be uniform, from both men and women, both Republicans and Democrats, and in all three Congressional districts.
“There were some differences, but the overall showing is that there is strong support by almost a 2-to-1 margin statewide,” according to Stenberg.
Among those surveyed, men support the death penalty by a 60-to-30% margin with the women surveyed supporting the death penalty 56.5-30.6%. Third Congressional District residents demonstrated the strongest support, but those in the First and Second supported capital punishment as well. Republicans supported the death penalty 61.2-26.5% with Democrats supporting it by a 54.1-34.2% margin.
“It ought to be clear that support does remain strong across Nebraska,” Stenberg says. “I think that’s the main point here that the legislature basically was not reflecting the will of the majority of Nebraskans when they repealed the death penalty a year or so ago.”