Poll: Support for TSA ‘porno grope’ procedures dropping

Not that the drop in support is much of a surprise.

It’s wonderful that people who don’t fly love the security theater of implementing programs that violate the Constitution, can’t even detect the last incident (the underwear bomber) or potentially emit harmful radiation. Maybe if we rolled out the same security at the local grocery store or shopping mall, they might feel differently.

Either way, as I said the other day, I distinctly remember George Bush and the invasion of Iraq enjoying very high support in the polls so the numbers mean nothing to me. When the public is fed a steady diet of fear, they’re all too willing to accept any intrusion that the government churns out.

Click through for lots more analysis by FiveThirtyEight.

Moreover, the ABC News poll finds that 50 percent of Americans think the T.S.A.’s “enhanced” pat-downs go too far — and 37 percent of Americans feel strongly so — versus 48 percent who say they are justified. It is important to clarify that, as the ABC News poll correctly identifies, the T.S.A. is in the process of implementing two separate and distinct security procedures: the new x-ray scanners on the one hand, and the more physically intrusive pat-downs on the other. Most of the incidents that have captured the public’s attention have to do with the latter procedure, the pat-downs, and that is where most of the public’s animus seems to be directed.

The ABC News poll also suggests that opposition to the measures is higher among those who fly regularly (a distinction that this blog had previously anticipated). Among Americans who fly at least once a year, 58 percent support the new x-ray scanners, versus 70 percent of Americans who fly less often than that. Support for the new pat-down procedures is at 44 percent among fliers, meanwhile, versus 52 percent among those who do not fly regularly.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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