The Campaign Spot

Surprise: Pat-Downs Poll Well Among Those Who Don’t Fly

The top headline in the print version of today’s Washington Post reads, “Most support full body scanners; half in poll call frisking intrusive.”

But when they say “half,” they don’t mean among those who actually fly commercial air travel and experience the pat-downs.

FLIERS — The results, as noted, differ among travel groups. People who fly at least annually are 12 points more apt to oppose the new screening machines and a slight eight points more apt to criticize the new pat-downs as an unjustified intrusion on personal privacy. Among Americans who say they fly at least once or twice a year — just fewer than half the public — 58 percent support the screening machines, with 37 percent opposed; that compares to 70-27 percent among people who fly infrequently or not at all. Similarly, support for the new pat-downs, 52 percent among infrequent fliers, slips to 44 percent among those who fly at least annually.

Those who fly more than once a year split 44 percent in favor, 54 percent oppose on the pat-downs. That’s not really “half.” The pollster also notes:

Though the sample is small, the results indicate that opposition rises further among more-frequent fliers, those who fly at least every few months.

Are we surprised that those who will rarely or never experience the pat-downs are less opposed to them? Like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, for these folks, a TSA agent reaching where he shouldn’t is an entirely theoretical manner.

UPDATE: This point, reinforced: “Cabinet secretaries, top congressional leaders and an exclusive group of senior U.S. officials are exempt from toughened new airport screening procedures when they fly commercially with government-approved federal security details. Aviation security officials would not name those who can skip the controversial screening, but other officials said those VIPs range from top officials like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and FBI Director Robert Mueller to congressional leaders like incoming House Speaker John Boehner, who avoided security before a recent flight from Washington’s Reagan National Airport.”

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Hillary Ruins the Plan

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the first in a series of excerpts.  There really was a collusion plot. It really did target our election system. It absolutely sought to usurp our capacity for ... Read More
Religion

Another Pop-Culture Christian Loses His Faith

It’s happened again. For the second time in three weeks, a prominent (at least in Evangelical circles) Christian has renounced his faith. In July, it was Josh Harris, a pastor and author of the mega-best-selling purity-culture book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This month, it’s Hillsong United songwriter and ... Read More
Culture

Max Boot’s Dishonesty

Before yesterday, my primary criticism of the Washington Post’s Max Boot was political in nature. As I wrote in a recent book review, I found it regrettable that Boot’s opposition to the president had not prevented him from “succumbing reactively to Trump’s cult of personality, or from making Trump the ... Read More
Elections

A Brief History of Election Meddling

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the second in a series of excerpts. ‘The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” Thus spoke President Barack Obama just a couple of weeks before ... Read More
World

The End of Hong Kong as We Know It

The protests in Hong Kong have been going on for more than four months now, and no matter how the current crisis concludes in the coming days or weeks, it will mark the end of Hong Kong as we know it. The protests started in response to an extradition bill that was proposed by the city’s Beijing-backed ... Read More