Washington Post Poll

This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone Nov. 21, 2010, among a random national sample of 514 adults reached by conventional or cellular telephone. Results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by Social Science Research Solutions of Media, PA.

*= less than 0.5 percent

1. About how often do you fly on commercial airlines: at least every few months, once or twice a year, less often than that, or have you never flown?

           Every few   Once/twice                   No
            months       a year     Less   Never   opin.
11/21/10      15          32         37     16       -
	


2. Are you personally worried about traveling by commercial airplane because of the risk of terrorism, or do you think the risk is not that great? (IF WORRIED) Would you say you are very worried or only somewhat?

           -------Worried-------    Not       No
           NET   Very   Somewhat   worried   opin.
11/21/10   30      8       22        66        4 
9/7/06     39     15       24        60        1  
9/7/03     36     15       21        63        1  
9/8/02     32     12       20        67        1  
2/3/02     33      8       25        64        3  
10/7/01    42     12       30        56        2                         
9/13/01    59     25       35        40        1


3. What do you think is more important right now - (for the federal government to investigate possible terrorist threats, even if that intrudes on personal privacy); or (for the federal government not to intrude on personal privacy, even if that limits its ability to investigate possible terrorist threats)?

             

           Investigate   Don't intrude 
             threats      on privacy     No opinion
11/21/10       68             26             6
1/15/10        75             23             2
12/11/06       63             34             3
9/7/06         65             32             3
5/15/06        67             30             3
5/11/06        65             31             4
1/8/06         65             32             3
9/7/03*        73             21             5
9/8/02         78             18             4
6/9/02         79             18             3
*9/7/03 and previous: "FBI" rather than "federal government


4. The Transportation Security Administration is increasing its use of so-called 'full-body' digital x-ray machines to screen passengers in airport security lines. (Supporters say these machines improve the ability to spot hidden weapons and explosives, and reduce the need for physical searches.) (Opponents say these machines invade privacy by producing x-ray images of a passenger's naked body that security officials can see, and don't provide enough added security to justify this.) Which comes closer to your own view - do you support or oppose using these scanners in airport security lines? (GET ANSWER THEN ASK: Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?)

 

           ----------Support--------   ---------Oppose----------    No
           NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opin.
11/21/10   64       37         27      32       14         18        4


5. As far as you're aware do you think these new scanning machines may pose a health risk, or do you think that's not a serious concern?

           Risk   Not a concern   No opin.
11/21/10    35         52            13

6. The TSA says it will hand-search people who don't want to be screened electronically, as well as those whose electronic screening raises a question. A TSA screener of the same sex as the passenger checks for hidden objects by placing his or her palms and fingers on the passenger's body, including sensitive areas such as the groin and breast. This replaces earlier hand-screening in which sensitive areas were touched only with the back of the hand. Do you think these new hand pat-procedures (are justified to try to prevent terrorism), or do you think they (go too far in invading personal privacy)? (GET ANSWER THEN ASK: Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?)

           --------Justified--------   ------Goes too far-------    No
           NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opin.
11/21/10   48       29         19      50       14         37        2


7. Do these rules make you more likely to fly on a commercial airplane, less likely to fly, or would they make no difference in your decision to travel by airplane?

                                                          

           More likely   Less likely   No diff.   No opin.
11/21/10       10            20          71           -


8. In another approach, would you support or oppose the TSA profiling people, using available information about passengers in order to determine who gets selected for extra security screening at airports?

           Support   Oppose   No opin.
11/21/10     70        25          6 

9. If profiling is done, for each item I name please tell me if you think it should or should not be included in a passenger's security profile. How about a passenger's (ITEM)? How about their (NEXT ITEM)?

Net table - 11/21/10
                         Should be   Should not be    No
                         included      included      opin.
a. Personal behavior        86            12           2
b. Travel history           78            21           2
c. Nationality              55            43           2
d. Personal appearance      50            48           2
e. Race                     40            59           2
f. Religion                 39            59           1
g. Sex                      32            65           3

Questions 10 and 11 held for future release. 

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