Shock poll: TSA’s job approval rating at … 54/12?

posted at 10:02 pm on August 9, 2012 by Allahpundit

A day old but too amazing not to blog. Honestly, if you’d asked me to guess how this poll would have broken, I probably would have said 12/54.

Second look at crotch patdowns?

Despite recent negative press, a majority of Americans, 54%, think the U.S. Transportation Security Administration is doing either an excellent or a good job of handling security screening at airports. At the same time, 41% think TSA screening procedures are extremely or very effective at preventing acts of terrorism on U.S. airplanes, with most of the rest saying they are somewhat effective…

Just over half of Americans report having flown at least once in the past year. These fliers have a slightly better opinion of the job TSA is doing than those who haven’t flown. Fifty-seven percent of those who have flown at least once and 57% of the smaller group who have flown at least three times have an excellent or good opinion of the TSA’s job performance. That compares with 52% of those who have not flown in the past year.

Interestingly, the data doesn’t change between people who have children at home and people who don’t. Seems that it’s a simple case of the more you fly, the more you get used to (or resign yourself to?) the security gauntlet. And there’s another factor at play. Spot the trend:

Note the gap in that second table. Among ages 18-29, you’ve got 54 percent saying TSA screening is “extremely” or “very” effective; among those over 30, you can’t do better than 40 percent on that question within any of the age demographics listed. Gallup’s explanation for this youth effect is correct, I think: It’s a function of growing up in a post-9/11 world and having your expectations for airport security shaped by the rise of TSA. (Interestingly, 18-29 is also the age group that flew most often, so the “resignation” effect described above may also be contributing to younger passengers’ acceptance of the procedures.) The unfortunate suggestion from this data is that government can get people to go along with lots of intrusive new security measures so long as it’s patient. People who remember what it was like before the “new security” will grumble, but the kids adapt pretty willingly. In hindsight, I wish that Monmouth poll about domestic drones taken back in June had offered a breakdown by age on top of the standard racial/regional splits. Wouldn’t surprise me if younger Americans are more forgiving of that incursion too.


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This just in: 54% of Americans don’t fly.

aunursa on August 9, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Check that: 88% of Americans don’t fly.

aunursa on August 9, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Now I know you’re just makin’ this sh!t up.

Lanceman on August 9, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Matt Drudge hardest hit.

Go RBNY on August 9, 2012 at 10:04 PM

I’m not surprised by these results at all.

Since 9/11, how many people have been blown up on airplanes by Islamic terrorists? The lower the number, the better their inferred job performance, junk-touching be damned.

In all seriousness, the demonization of the TSA always seemed overblown to me, but I’m also one of the 48% of Americans that haven’t traveled by air in the past year… although I do have to go through a security checkpoint on my way into work everyday, so maybe I’m just desensitized.

Stoic Patriot on August 9, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Well that’s it. Need to believe every poll that is put out from now on.

tru2tx on August 9, 2012 at 10:06 PM

What happened to being burned out on polls?

Bmore on August 9, 2012 at 10:07 PM

The same dingleberries who did the CNN/Fox News poll, most likely.

AubieJon on August 9, 2012 at 10:08 PM

As I said when this was a headline, I don’t fly, but even so I know enough that the TSA is a creepy invasive stuttering clusterfark of an overinflated bureaucracy.

Gingotts on August 9, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Well, there hasn’t been another hijacking since 2001 out of the US, anyway, and the pervs probably travel just for the pat downs.

AllahsNippleHair on August 9, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Time to stop believing polls.

I find it almost impossible to believe over 50% will vote for obama too.

aniptofar on August 9, 2012 at 10:10 PM

I hate the TSA screenings but I would probably answer the poll based on the human aspect. I assume that they don’t want to do the pat downs and are somehow under orders to total horse’s patoots to children and seniors. Effectiveness, as I have said before, Flight 93 has had more impact on how passengers will react, given the opportunity, than anything these folks do.

Cindy Munford on August 9, 2012 at 10:11 PM

I complety stopped flying due to these croach groping thugs.

jawkneemusic on August 9, 2012 at 10:12 PM

All hail the Gropestapo!!! Or else …

VorDaj on August 9, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Wow. This just in, 54% of Americans surveyed in this poll are stupid.

AZfederalist on August 9, 2012 at 10:13 PM

I’ve not flown for over a decade, but it seems we can blame Bush for this fantastic job approval rating

Slade73 on August 9, 2012 at 10:14 PM

I’m not surprised by these results at all.

Since 9/11, how many people have been blown up on airplanes by Islamic terrorists? The lower the number, the better their inferred job performance, junk-touching be damned.

Stoic Patriot on August 9, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Exactly. Heard a liberal snark the other day “shut down the TSA entirely and say ‘fly at your own risk’. When another 9/11 happens, say you won’t reinstate them without a public approval vote, with a minimum 75% ‘for’ needed.”

All kinds of things wrong with both the speaker and the statement, but it was brutally true…

MelonCollie on August 9, 2012 at 10:16 PM

The same dingleberries who did the CNN/Fox News poll, most likely.

AubieJon on August 9, 2012 at 10:08 PM

That’s gotta be it. I can’t imagine that people really believe that. I just can’t. We, as a people, haven’t really given up our liberties to this point yet.

AZfederalist on August 9, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Wow. This just in, 54% of Americans surveyed in this poll are stupid.

AZfederalist on August 9, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Luckily only two percent are GOPers.

CW on August 9, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Another “poll”….*spit*. Flying tomorrow to see my daughter in CA (yes, God help me, CA). Flying out of Houston Hobby. I’m sure the TSA will pull me aside, (as they always do) to do the freakin xray machine. I don’t know why, but everytime I fly, I’m “chosen” to go through the xray thingy. I guess I look like a terrorist…..(older woman, grey hair, no big you-know-whats, etc.)

sicoit on August 9, 2012 at 10:17 PM

A few more factors:

1.) Most people do not get the crotch pat down, they just walk through the scanner.

2.) Because most people go through the scanner, TSA is moving much more quickly.

3.) People hate standing in line. To the extent that planes aren’t being hijacked and people aren’t having to wait in line three hours to get through security, they are happy.

Lawdawg86 on August 9, 2012 at 10:18 PM

How many of the 54% were complaining because they didn’t get a free vibrator (http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2012/08/09/dude-1560/)?

malclave on August 9, 2012 at 10:19 PM

I’m “chosen” to go through the xray thingy. I guess I look like a terrorist…..(older woman, grey hair, no big you-know-whats, etc.)

Lucky for you. If you had big you-know-what’s you’d be singled out for the full pat-down and grope. Yeah, I know that the pat-downs are same sex; we have no idea of the orientation of the person doing the pat-down, do we?

AZfederalist on August 9, 2012 at 10:23 PM

AZfederalist on August 9, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Now, now, we know that TSA only hires the…..ummmmmm…..LBSGTers.

I actually bought some of those brazierres (spelling strange on purpose) that have the flower petal on the “right spot” just to mess with these morons….Heh, I’ll be wearing that tomorrow! Dammmmmm, I may be older, but I ain’t stupid! ;)

sicoit on August 9, 2012 at 10:30 PM

This poll proves how incredibly stupid and uninformed Americans are. This bodes well for Obama.

bw222 on August 9, 2012 at 10:32 PM

I’m sure the TSA will pull me aside, (as they always do) to do the freakin xray machine. I don’t know why, but everytime I fly, I’m “chosen” to go through the xray thingy. I guess I look like a terrorist…..(older woman, grey hair, no big you-know-whats, etc.)

sicoit on August 9, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Show up in a burqa and acting like the whole place is beneath you. TSA will let you on the plane without so much as a stern look.

Gingotts on August 9, 2012 at 10:32 PM

All part of the plan.

Nudge, one “junk check” at a time. So people will get use to it and the be the new normal. Then when people get put in cattle cars to the FEMA camps they will say meh. They said the TSA would be bad so this shower can’t be all that bad.

Cass S. leaves, then this poll comes out. His work was complete and time to educated the next generation of regulators.

tjexcite on August 9, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Chalk it up to people messing around in Poll Silly Season.

Steve Eggleston on August 9, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Gingotts on August 9, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Yup, as I stated earlier, I actually bought some of those brazierres (spelling strange on purpose) that have the flower petal on the “right spot” just to mess with these morons….Heh, I’ll be wearing that tomorrow! Dammmmmm, I may be older, but I ain’t stupid! ;)

sicoit on August 9, 2012 at 10:35 PM

My first flight was in 2005 and I’ve flown 20-30 times since then and I’ve never had a bad experience with the TSA (Knock on wood because I fly tomorrow) that’s why I never understood the hate against them. I know theres extreme cases but they seem to want to just keep the line moving as much as I want to get thru the line.

Politricks on August 9, 2012 at 10:41 PM

During the summer of 2007, I traveled a great bit with my job. I count 6 instances of TSA agents overstepping their boundaries and pissing me off. Give a high school drop out a job with authority, and suffer the consequences.

the new aesthetic on August 9, 2012 at 10:43 PM

I got felt up in Manchester a week and a half ago. They were pulling all American passports out of the line to board the flight to Dulles (after going through all the usual security business), searching their bags, and doing the pat-down.

Bob's Kid on August 9, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Yeah, I know that the pat-downs are same sex

AZfederalist on August 9, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Once the TSA unionizes we can get rid of repressive sexist policies like that.

malclave on August 9, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Oh also, I’ve never been groped or bothered. My ex girlfriend got a random screen last time, they took her aside and waved her with a wand. She was a young attractive female with big fake breast and no one groped her. Im in shape and never been groped but I always see out of shape over weight people complaining about being “groped”. At every airport I’ve been too they do the metal detector or the wand, were is everyone getting “groped” at?! I’ve flown out of Mexico, Seattle, Miami, Texas, Vegas and salt lake…I feel like maybe Im not sexy enough :(

Politricks on August 9, 2012 at 10:49 PM

Politricks on August 9, 2012 at 10:49 PM

…a big fake breast…???

Not the set?

socalcon on August 9, 2012 at 11:07 PM

…a big fake breast…???

Not the set?

socalcon on August 9, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Pretty much explains why there was no desire to grope her, eh? Kind of like the original version of “Sudden Recall”

AZfederalist on August 9, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Who were they polling? TSA agents?

GarandFan on August 9, 2012 at 11:39 PM

I wouldn’t be able to say my experience, because I quit flying when they started all this. That’s fairly easy to do, since we don’t have to fly for work or anything like that, and are perfectly happy to drive everywhere on vacation.

Still, it’s kind of a shame.

Alana on August 9, 2012 at 11:41 PM

The TSA is in a win-win position with job approval, you know. The only thing that could knock them down to 12/54 would be failing to stop a terrorist attack or universal full screening for all travelers.. However many people they choose for an unpleasant experience, it’s a fraction of those who actually fly.

Waggoner on August 9, 2012 at 11:46 PM

I’m a frequent flier by most standards, at well over 100,000 miles flown annually for the past decade. I have civil liberty concerns in regard to the Fourth Amendment, but I opt out of the X-Ray scanners primarily because their safety hasn’t been independently proven, particularly in the case of malfunctions. If you’re a once-a-year flier you’re probably fine but I’m not comfortable going through it several times monthly.

If the TSA is willing to lie and appropriate the expression “pat-down” for what are actually custodial-style searches, why wouldn’t they lie or conceal problems with the Chertoff-X-Ray scanners?

Everybody who trusts the government just line up in this express line on the left.

Mark Steyn wrote awhile back about the irony of watching some fellow passenger wearing a “live-free-or-die” T-shirt as he meekly assumed the position for his search.

It’s really an irony to see what most Americans put up with passively in the name of “anything to keep us safe.”

The plan is for the TSA VIPR program to implement additional screenings at train stations, subways, etc. Even when they come soon to a street corner near you, it’s a sad commentary that people will shrug, line up, and wait their their turn to be X-rayed, frisked invasively, or both.

Drained Brain on August 9, 2012 at 11:55 PM

Well, there hasn’t been another hijacking since 2001 out of the US, anyway, and the pervs probably travel just for the pat downs.

AllahsNippleHair on August 9, 2012 at 10:10 PM

However the catch rate by the TSA for preventing incidences on on aircraft is 0 percent.

Dasher on August 10, 2012 at 12:17 AM

Obama Math. Maybe he can get a Nobel Prize for that also.

pat on August 10, 2012 at 1:26 AM

The one international airport with private instead of TSA security is, irony of ironies, San Francisco International. The lines are a LOT shorter and the security is much better at catching contraband. In spite of this, and in spite of paying their security people more than TSA, they cost less.

You can’t professionalize unless you privatize.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on August 10, 2012 at 1:26 AM

What’s odd is when Muslims carry out terrorist attacks like the D.C. sniper, Ft. Hood and the recruiting station in Arkansas and there’s massive obfuscation of motive by the Feds, the DNC, and the LSM (all the same entity really)…but when a dozen men hijack not one, but four airliners all at the same time we end up with the Patriot act, Iraq and Afghanistan. And then it goes on…Libya, Egypt, and Syria. And Al-Qaeda’s involved in all of them…and the Feds/NATO are supporting them. Hmmm.

I don’t remember any mass calls for “gun control” when the first three incidents above took place…it’s only certain ones. How about at least a policy where military people (I know, it’s a stretch) actually carry arms especially when on military installations?

Something smells.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 10, 2012 at 2:50 AM

An honest answer from the TSA re weapons i.e. ‘sharp and /or weaponized articles’;

“We confiscate what we find.”

A realistic answer from the TSA:

“Any ‘sharp and/or weaponized articles we didn’t find and found their way on board have caused zero problems on flights since 9-11.”

Conclusion: Sharp and/or weaponized articles are not the threat, people are.

Just sayin’, is all.

LizardLips on August 10, 2012 at 6:09 AM

Who were they polling? TSA agents?

GarandFan on August 9, 2012 at 11:39 PM

Touche’. And, if you think they have been annoying so far, wait until they are unionized.

ghostwalker1 on August 10, 2012 at 6:43 AM

Welcome to Boiled Frog Nation. Open the borders and come on in, the water’s fine. Always room for 2 million more…

rhombus on August 10, 2012 at 7:04 AM

These fliers have a slightly better opinion of the job TSA is doing than those who haven’t flown.

There are two different issues here that have been combined.

First there is the face of the TSA- the screeners. Those mostly overweight to morbidly obese individuals who hold relatively low-paying jobs, get the abuse, and are the front line in the gate rape movement. They deserve some latitude because they are doing a thankless job. They are not efficient but they keep the lines moving as best they can. I think most poll respondents were thinking about this aspect of the TSA when they gave their stupid answer.

Which brings us to the real crux of the issue. NO! The TSA is doing a crappy job. Those lines would not be nearly so long if the TSA adopted common sense rules. Why, for example, do you have to strip down to get through the sensors? I flew out of Frankfurt this summer and, guess what, the Germans have figured out a way where you can go through the screening process while wearing your belt and shoes! Why don’t we profile? Show me a grandmother from Des Moines who got caught with a suicide vest and we can re-think this issue but in the meantime please do not treat her and all passengers the same as you would a young Muslim on an international flight from Yemen with a one-way ticket to the US that they purchased in the last 24 hours and are taking the flight without any luggage. Why don’t we allow more people to be pre-screened. Why isn’t a federal government employee (including military)or contractor with a Top Secret clearance able to pass through the screening process without so much of the nonsense?

In short, the TSA is doing a crappy job vis-a-vis its legitimate mission. That isn’t the fault of the screeners it is the fault of an organization run by people so paranoid of those 19 terrorists of the 9/11/01 atrocities things like common sense, civil rights, and decency take a back seat to feeling up children at the airport.

Happy Nomad on August 10, 2012 at 7:16 AM

Remember the train station scene when all the Germans ducked in unison to allow the Gestapo agent to have a clean shot at David McCallum?

Same mentality.

IlikedAUH2O on August 10, 2012 at 7:47 AM

Effective? Uh, I have accidentally taken not only a 3.7 inch knife on board a plane but also pepper spray.

Slightly bigger deal than box cutters let alone the nail clipper of doom they took from me wants.

The TSA strikes me as lazy, officious, unintelligent, and incompetent.

CorporatePiggy on August 10, 2012 at 7:57 AM

“Any ‘sharp and/or weaponized articles we didn’t find and found their way on board have caused zero problems on flights since 9-11.”

Conclusion: Sharp and/or weaponized articles are not the threat, people are.

Just sayin’, is all.

LizardLips on August 10, 2012 at 6:09 AM

Well that’s new and is it now their policy?

Alternative conclusion: TSA admits that the security kabuki theater is just cover for the army of Sanduskies they hired to grope people.

Any bombs that make it on board haven’t caused any problems yet.

CorporatePiggy on August 10, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Most people just don’t remember what it was like before TSA. I spoke with a 20 year old a few months back about TSA. He thought that part of the 9/11 thing was airport securities fault. He said that the airport security failed to find the box cutters the hijackers had and pretty much could have stopped the attacks… and that was why we needed TSA.

Well.. I told him that first… box cutters were allowed on planes. The “explosives” the hijackers were carrying were just fake cardboard. Second.. that several airport security people had gut feelings about one or two of the hijackers… but because of political correctness didn’t act on their suspicions. I also asked him.. “Do you really think the airport industry wants their planes and customers blowing up?”

Also.. now who does TSA target? Is there even one video anywhere of TSA harassing a women in a burca or feeling up a man in a headdress.. or for that matter.. feeling up a black man or a black woman? You would think if it was all random there would be at least a couple somewhere. It’s all old white guys and old white women, nuns, white crippled people, white people in wheel chairs, white children and white babies. How is this? Shouldn’t there be some evidence somewhere that they are harassing people of all colors?

Can some here prove me wrong? I would like to see it.

JellyToast on August 10, 2012 at 8:20 AM

AP:

While I like and respect your writing and thoughts, would you please keep in mind that the word “data” is a plural noun. You said, for example, that “the data doesn’t seem to change” when the correct phrase would be “the data do not seem to change” (or “don’t”).

I know it’s a somewhat trivial pet peeve, but it’s a distraction from the point you’re trying to make.

Thank you,
James

JamesJr on August 10, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Shouldn’t there be some evidence somewhere that they are harassing people of all colors?

JellyToast on August 10, 2012 at 8:20 AM

I get your point but the bigger one is that they claim the absence of a successful terrorist attack on a plane proves that the system works. Yet, the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber would have been successful had they not had wardrobe malfunctions. In the meantime our enemy has moved on and managed to gun down a bunch of soldiers at Fort Hood through other means.

Happy Nomad on August 10, 2012 at 8:41 AM

I know it’s a somewhat trivial pet peeve, but it’s a distraction from the point you’re trying to make.

JamesJr on August 10, 2012 at 8:38 AM

No it isn’t. If you are going to be distracted by grammar or tense then you are definitely in the wrong medium.

Happy Nomad on August 10, 2012 at 8:43 AM

i travel quite frequently and honestly would rate them the same. They aren’t super effective but I’ve almost never found the TSA rude or overly aggressive. I doubt that they could stop a really determined criminal element from smuggling weapons on a plan but I think they do keep people from carrying weapons accidentally. They also are fairly effective at smoking out nervous criminals and so provide a service like white blood cells at air ports. Sure they have to have been exposed to a problem before they can treat or attack it but once they do they rarely forget.

Zekecorlain on August 10, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Since 9/11, how many people have been blown up on airplanes by Islamic terrorists? The lower the number, the better their inferred job performance, junk-touching be damned.

In all seriousness, the demonization of the TSA always seemed overblown to me, but I’m also one of the 48% of Americans that haven’t traveled by air in the past year… although I do have to go through a security checkpoint on my way into work everyday, so maybe I’m just desensitized.

Stoic Patriot on August 9, 2012 at 10:05 PM

I would tend to agree if TSA actually searched Islamic terrorists. However…they ignore anyone of that desciption for fear of being accused of profiling and instead search little old ladies with pacemakers and young kids in diapers. If one can explain this logically with any kind of intellectual argument….I will agree.

logicman_1998 on August 10, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Seems that it’s a simple case of the more you fly, the more you get used to (or resign yourself to?) the security gauntlet.

I imagine it also helps that those truly opposed to the TSA have stopped flying if at all possible or have at least cut back.

Esthier on August 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Much as I dislike the TSA and feel they’re more show than effect, current needs require that I fly. I have to say that my experiences with TSA in the past year have gotten a bit better. I still opt out of the x-ray every time. Flying from Houston to Newark, the only flack I seem to get is in Newark, where every pat-down seems to come with an attitude (free!). I chalk it up to being in Jersey. =)

ScaryBiscuits on August 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM

My family has quit flying too, due to a combination of not wanting our disabled child to be molested by these creeps and not having any money. I certainly wouldn’t give TSA anything but a failing grade if I was surveyed though. I’ve seen too many incidents in the news of them mistreating disabled and elderly people.

sherrimae on August 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

“They’re not the same Americans now. They crave authority,” he said. “They lust after regulation. They love being frisked, x-rayed, and felt-up at airports because it gives them a false sense of significance.”

Rae on August 10, 2012 at 3:42 PM