Gallup: Americans' Views of TSA More Positive Than Negative

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    This will be remedied one grope at a time ...

    Gallup: Americans' Views of TSA More Positive Than Negative: They have less positive views of TSA's effectiveness at preventing terrorism

    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.

    I've long maintained that the fight against TSA will be an economic one -- boycott the airlines and eventually they will force the issue. This poll reinforces that.

    Those who haven't flown recently are less favorable, which indicates that perhaps there already is a statistically significant boycott.
  2. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Caveat: I didn't read all the poll questions. Did Gallup ask how many of the responders had ever had an enhanced or resolution pat down?
  3. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

  4. TSA News Blog

    TSA News Blog News Feed


    A recent Gallup poll was reported in Politico and other sources saying that most Americans believe that the TSA’s procedures are effective.
    From Politico:
    About 54 percent of Americans say the Transportation Security Administration is doing an excellent or good job while another 30 percent said TSA is doing a fair job, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday afternoon. Twelve percent of respondents said the security arm is doing a poor job.
    Ironically, this comes on the day when two more TSA screeners in Atlanta were indicted for drug trafficking, bringing the total number of TSA workers charged with smuggling contraband through security to 12 in 20 months.
    Interestingly, in a recent interview, TSA Administrator John Pistole acknowledged that a Wall Street Journal poll indicated that “customer satisfaction with his agency, according to a recent poll, is 38 percent, although some airline travelers may think that is on the high side.” The article also states:
    The negative perception is 43 percent with respondents, according to The Wall Street Journal, mentioning a perception of ‘TSA incompetence and overstepping its authority.’ Anybody who flies regularly has seen both.​
    But there’s plenty of nuance that these articles neglect. Reading the Gallup version of the report and the supporting detail provides a different view.
    A favorite phrase of TSA spokesmen is “The screeners have to succeed every time, the terrorists only once.” This statement implies that that the structure of the questions may have led to some bias in the results, since, according to TSA’s own philosophy, this is a pass-fail proposition. If the results are recast using this premise, then they can be distilled into two categories: Reliable and Not Reliable. The Extremely and Very Effective results would qualify as being in the Reliable category, and the Somewhat, Not Very, and Not Effective would be in the Not Reliable category. (There’s no explaining how the ubiquitous No Opinion people can be so oblivious to reality that they can’t form a thought, but that’s for another discussion.)
    From the Gallup detail:
    56% 44%
    How Effective do you think TSA’s screening procedures are at preventing acts of terrorism on U.S. airplane?
    Reliable Not Reliable No Opinion
    Extremely 9
    Very 32
    Somewhat 44
    Not Very 8
    Not 5
    No Opinion 4
    When these results are aggregated into logical categories, the majority — 51 respondents of 98 with an opinion — found these procedures Not Reliable. Put another way, only 41 of 98 respondents, or 42%, found TSA procedures Reliable, while 58% of respondents found them Not Reliable.
    With the question regarding whether TSA is doing a good job, the results are slightly more favorable but still less than stellar for an agency that told Congress that “everyone loves us” only last week. Applying a similar pass-fail analysis, the recast results from the Gallup poll are not as rosy as the articles would imply. Instead of reliability, the standards would simply be Acceptable or Unacceptable. Both Excellent and Good are Acceptable, and the remainder are Unacceptable.
    From the Gallup detail:
    Do you think TSA is doing an excellent, good, only fair or poor job?
    Acceptable Unacceptable No Opinion
    Excellent 13
    Good 41
    Fair 30
    Poor 12
    No Opinion 4
    TOTAL 54 42 4
    In this breakdown, 54% find the procedures Acceptable, while 44% find them Unacceptable. Given that the poll allows a 4% margin of error on a sample of 1,014 respondents, the poll indicates that Americans are largely divided on whether the agency is doing an good job or not.
    The article also implies that frequent fliers are equally impressed with TSA’s performance, but the details do not support this conclusion. The article states “Frequent fliers and sporadic travelers offered similarly positive views about TSA, as did fliers with or without young children, often a sore subject in the news media.”
    A review of the results, however, reveals that a whopping 75% of respondents made less than two round trips in the past year, and nearly half have not flown at all. Only 12% would remotely qualify as frequent fliers, making 5 or more round trips in a year.
    How many round trips have you taken in last 12 months?
    None 48%
    1-2 27%
    3-4 13%
    5 or more 12%
    Other questions also remain unclear. The poll failed to ask if people had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the TSA workers they encounter. Anecdotal evidence, eyewitness testimony, and comments on published TSA stories would predict that the answer to this would have been overwhelmingly negative.
    Gallup didn’t disclose who sponsored the poll or if the TSA or one of its vendors had any input on it. As we all know by now, pollsters can get any result they want by controlling the way questions are asked and the group that is polled. This would explain why other Gallup polls, particularly those on political issues, are often at odds with other equally respected polls.
    The fact remains that no matter how many fluff pieces or favorable polls get published on behalf of the TSA, many Americans are sick and tired of this agency and its corrupt workers.
    (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Michael Kreil)
  5. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    That's exactly what I thought when I read this thread title: "Oh, crap! Here's yet ANOTHER PROPAGANDA PIECE (of :trash:)!
  6. saulblum

    saulblum Original Member

    The poll asked the wrong questions.

    There have been no successful attacks on planes since the TSA was formed, so yes, by tautology, its procedures have been effective. Just as I can say that daily prayers for safe flights have been effective, or that my pet rock has been effective at keeping planes safe.

    The better question would have been: "Would you feel safe flying if the security checkpoints were like those pre-TSA, with just metal detectors and bag x-rays? If not, do you feel that the changes the TSA brought to the checkpoints have thwarted attacks that otherwise would have been perpetrated?"

    But that's a lot of words for a phone interview, and requires some, well, thought.
    DeafBlonde likes this.
  7. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    The average American thinks Budweiser is actually a beer, and that Starbucks actually serves coffee, too...
    nachtnebel and saulblum like this.
  8. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I'm an American and the only positive thing I see in TSA involves prison and solitary confinement with bread and water, hold the bread, for life.
  9. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    I don't participate in polls, because they're usually set up to get the results the "researcher" is seeking.
  10. Monica47

    Monica47 Original Member

    Where's the statistic on how many people quit flying because of the scope and grope?
  11. RB

    RB Founding Member

    AFS'ers won't ask that question.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  12. Louis Betti

    Louis Betti Original Member

    On 9/11, no security caught the box cutters or fake bombs. On 9/11 pilots and cabin staff had been taught to "cooperate and graduate", which meant, cooperate with the hijackers, they will have you fly them somewhere, and you will live. So much for that.

    UAL 93 got an ACARS message about the WTC crash, and not to allow cockpit access. What did they do? Ask for a repeat of the message (they probably could not believe it), and then when asked by an FA, before a confirmation on the ACARS, they opened the cockpit door! End of story.

    I had a friend in the right seat of a 757 going to SFO, right behind UAL 93 out of EWR. He actually saw the north tower burning from EWR as he took off (WTF???). When he got the ACARS message later on, he and the captain agreed that the cockpit is closed off, and he pulled the crash ax from the rear cockpit bulkhead and held it near his side. He is now a FFDO.

    So, now we have the TSA trying to make air travel 100% safe, yet TSA management does not realize that nothing can be 100%, and the more you try to achieve that the more it costs, and the more people you piss off.

    Our "enemy" knows this, and can work around it, and the TSA has been nothing but reactionary. Witness the shoe bomber and underwear bomber and their response. Yes, they claim to want to use "intelligence" to thwart threats before they become reality. That's like having the blind leading the blind!

    Indeed, there have been no successful attempts after 9/11; this is TSA's claim to fame, but what TSA does not understand is that our enemy is not "short term" in their mission. If it takes them another 5, 10, 20 years for them to achieve their goal, even 100 years, this should be well known by TSA.

    Otherwise, TSA, as I think we all know is just "security theater".

    If you want to be 100% safe from terrorism, I have no answer for you, as you cannot be. Get used to that, as our enemy has a very long term plan, and do not assume aircraft will be a part of it either.
  13. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Box cutters and other pocketknives were not prohibited on 9/11. I used to fly regularly with a Gerber Multi-Lock in my pocket.
  14. Louis Betti

    Louis Betti Original Member

    Right you are, but we saw the result of that and opening the cockpit door, right?

    Today, no pilot would open the now-heavily secured cockpit door. We learned a lesson.

    I do not think the TSA thinks our enemy will try to invade a cockpit then again....Oy!

    What are they thinking?!!
  15. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    Oh, oh, I know, I know, let me answer that, please, please, please!!! <*waving right hand furiously in the air*>
    "If we don't look for "all sorts of potentially dangerous items" (forget about actual WEI), then we'll be out of a job! YIKES! Hurry, make a list of all sorts of potentially dangerous items (knives, nail clippers, purses with pictures of guns, cupcakes, etc.) so that we can screen all passengers thereby insuring that we'll all have cushey gubment jobs and retire with a gubment pension!! Hurry, Hurry, 9/11, 9/11!!!!" ... :rolleyes:
  16. RB

    RB Founding Member

    TSA calls finding some weed in a pocket or jar of peanut butter a good catch. Problem is that is not a good catch. TSA's screening procedures do not discriminate finely enough to distinguish between things dangerous to air travel and things that just aren't dangerous. If your water department used similar standards then all manner of dangerous things would be coming out of your water taps.

    I truly believe that the biggest problem TSA faces is its people, from the top down. Screening travelers is not a law enforcement action, TSA should not be headed up by law enforcement types, and TSA employees should not have prior law enforcement activity. The LEO/cop/mall cop mindset is to look for criminals or criminal acts, to treat people with less respect, and failure to see travelers for what they are, people just going from place to place.

    TSA is badly broken, perhaps past the point of repair.
  17. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    no one ever has ever gone broke underestimating the intelligence of the american public
    Fisher1949 likes this.
  18. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    As P. T. Barnum said, "there's a sucker born every minute".
  19. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

  20. TravelnMedic

    TravelnMedic Original Member

    I still question the methodology as well as who paid for this. I highly suspect it was by TSA. Then out of the insignificantly small poll how many are true road warriors that are sick of this :trash: and the maybe once a year or every 5 year flyers. Im betting the later.
    KrazyKat likes this.

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