TSA

Americans Have Mixed Feelings About the TSA

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Recent Reason-Rupe survey data reveals that 69 percent of the public believes the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has made air travel safer. This is generally consistent across political groups, although Democrats are the most likely to agree (74 percent) and the Tea Party is least likely to agree (64 percent).

Do you think the TSA has made air travel safer?

However, the public is divided over whether it believes the TSA would catch a terrorist trying to board an airplane at a U.S. airport. Forty nine percent have confidence in the TSA whereas 44 percent do not. At 53 percent Democrats are the most likely to believe the TSA would catch a terrorist trying to board an airplane, compared to pure Independents, only 44 percent of whom are confident in the TSA.

Are you confident that the TSA would catch a terrorist trying to board an airplane at a US airport?

The public is also fairly divided over supporting the replacement of TSA airport security screeners with screeners from private companies working under government supervision, with 41 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed. However, dramatic differences emerge comparing political groups. Sixty one percent of Tea Party supporters favor privatizing the TSA compare to 31 percent opposed. This result is flipped for Democrats with 61 percent opposed and 29 percent in favor. A majority of independents also oppose privatization at 52 percent to 35 percent. Republicans are split with 44 percent in favor and 43 percent opposed.

Would you favor or oppose replacing TSA airport security screeners with screeners from private companies working under government supervision?

Click here for full survey results.

Survey Methods

The Reason-Rupe Q3 2011 poll collected a nationally representative sample of 1200 respondents, aged 18 and older from all 50 states and the District of Columbia using live telephone interviews from August 9th-18th 2011. The margin of sampling error for this poll is ± 3 percent. The margin of error for the GOP presidential race numbers is ± 4.79%. Interviews were conducted with respondents using both landline (790) and mobile phones (410). Landline respondents were randomly selected within households based on the adult who had the most recent birthday. Sample was weighted by gender, age, ethnicity, and Census region, based on the most recent US Census data. The sampling frame included landline and mobile phone numbers generated using Random Digit Dialing (RDD) methods and randomly selected numbers from a directory-listed sample. Clickhere for full methodological details. NSON Opinion Strategy conducted the poll's fieldwork. View full methodology.