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Poll: Half Of Americans Would Use Racial And Religious Profiling At Airports

 The airport security measures recently announced by the Department of Homeland Security are endorsed by a large proportion of Americans, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The online survey of a representative national sample of 1,005 American adults also reveals that a majority of respondents believe that security personnel should not completely abandon the practice of racial and religious profiling in airports.

Security Measures

Public support is particularly high for the use of explosive trace detection in American airports (91%), canine teams (87%) and advanced imaging, such as 3-D body scanners (83%).

Almost three-in-four respondents (72%) are also in favor of using the pat-down method to screen passengers.

Racial Profiling

On Apr. 2, the Department of Homeland Security introduced the new intelligence-based airline security measures, which are meant to replace the mandatory rigorous pre-flight screening of travelers from 14 countries. The U.S. government had first implemented those guidelines after a Nigerian man attempted to detonate explosives on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Dec. 25.

A majority of Americans (51%) support security personnel relying on a passenger’s racial or religious characteristics to determine whether this passenger requires a more thorough review. Two-in-five respondents (39%) oppose this practice.

Respondents aged 35 to 54 (54%), Republicans (64%) and Independents (54%) voiced support for this course of action for security personnel.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs
+877 730 3570
mario.canseco@angus-reid.com

Methodology: From April 6 to April 7, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,005 American adults who are Springboard America panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of the United States. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.


 



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