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BY – Recent Reason-Rupe survey data reveals that 69 percent of the public believes the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has made air travel safer. This is generally consistent across political groups, although Democrats are the most likely to agree (74 percent) and the Tea Party is least likely to agree (64 percent).

Do you think the TSA has made air travel safer?

However, the public is divided over whether it believes the TSA would catch a terrorist trying to board an airplane at a U.S. airport. Forty nine percent have confidence in the TSA whereas 44 percent do not. At 53 percent Democrats are the most likely to believe the TSA would catch a terrorist trying to board an airplane, compared to pure Independents, only 44 percent of whom are confident in the TSA.

Are you confident that the TSA would catch a terrorist trying to board an airplane at a US airport?

The public is also fairly divided over supporting the replacement of TSA airport security screeners with screeners from private companies working under government supervision, with 41 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed. However, dramatic differences emerge comparing political groups. Sixty one percent of Tea Party supporters favor privatizing the TSA compare to 31 percent opposed. This result is flipped for Democrats with 61 percent opposed and 29 percent in favor. A majority of independents also oppose privatization at 52 percent to 35 percent. Republicans are split with 44 percent in favor and 43 percent opposed.

Would you favor or oppose replacing TSA airport security screeners with screeners from private companies working under government supervision?

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