Americans undeterred by terrorist threats

4th Sep 2006

While much was made of the
recent terrorist plot to bring explosives on planes, only one-third of U.S.
adults say their attitude toward flying changed because of it, according to
a new Harris Poll. Fifteen percent said the news made them much more
anxious about flying while 18 percent said it made them somewhat more
anxious. Two-thirds (65%) say their attitude remains the same.
  These are results from the latest Harris Poll of 1,000 U.S. adults
surveyed by telephone between August 18 and 21, 2006 by Harris
  Only one in ten U.S. adults say they made changes to their travel plans
to avoid flying while three-quarters (76%) did not make any changes. Seven
in ten (70%) say that they are anticipating flying the same amount in the
next twelve months as they did in the previous twelve. One in five (21%)
say they will be flying less while 6 percent will be flying more. It should
be noted that people could be flying less for reasons other terrorism
  Three in five U.S. adults (61%) believe that a ban on liquids on
airplanes is necessary while one-third do not believe it is necessary. When
asked how long the ban should last, almost half of adults say as long as
the government deems it necessary and one-quarter (25%) believe it should
remain in effect indefinitely. One in five (20%) say it should be in place
for a few months and 4 percent of adults do not believe there should be a
ban at all.
  An interesting partisan break occurs in this question, with Republicans
(60%) more likely to believe that the ban should be in effect as long as
the government deems it necessary over Democrats (43%). Democrats, however,
are more likely than Republicans to believe the ban should be in place
indefinitely (32% of Democrats versus 21% of Republicans). One-quarter of
Independents are more likely to believe the ban should be in place for a
few months as compared to Democrats (19%) and Republicans (16%) who believe
the same.
  Regarding carry-on luggage, most adults indicate that they would not
mind if all carry-on bags were banned. More than three in five U.S. adults
(62%) would support a ban if the Transportation Security Administration
(TSA) thought it was necessary while just over one-third (35%) would oppose
it. Interestingly, those who are between the ages of 45 to 54 and 55 to 64
years old are much more likely to support the ban on carry-on luggage (73%
and 74%, respectively). Younger generations are more likely to oppose such
a ban; in fact half (51%) of 25 to 34 year olds would oppose this ban as
would 44 percent of 18 to 24 year olds.


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