August 19, 2005 - New Yorkers Back Subway Bag Searches 3 - 1, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Most Say Security Should Not Hurt Rights
By a 72 - 25 percent margin, New York City registered voters support the policy of random bag searches of subway and bus passengers, with strong support among all segments of the population, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

White voters support bag searches 78 - 18 percent, with black support at 68 - 28 percent and Hispanic support at 67 - 30 percent. Republicans are willing to open their bags 89 - 9 percent, while Democrats back the policy 67 - 29 percent and independent voters support it 71 - 25 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

New York City voters say 55 - 38 percent, however, that government security measures should not violate their basic civil liberties. Republicans say 60 - 35 percent that they will accept security measures that violate basic civil liberties, but Democrats say 62 - 32 percent that these measures should stop short of violating rights. Independent voters want to protect their civil liberties 54 - 39 percent.

"Even in a city touchy about civil rights, New Yorkers pick a bag search over the threat of being blown up," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "But most voters don't want to give government too much power."

From August 9 - 15, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,601 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida and nationwide as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu or call (203) 582-5201

16. Which comes closer to your view? (A) The government should take all steps necessary to prevent additional acts of terrorism in the United States even if it means your basic civil liberties would be violated. -or- (B) The government should take steps to prevent additional acts of terrorism but not if those would violate your basic civil liberties.

                        REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp
A) All steps
 regardless of    
 civil liberties        38%     60%     32%     39%     43%     31%     38%
B) Should not
 violate civil    
 liberties              55      35      62      54      51      61      54 
DK/NA                    7       4       6       6       6       8       8 


Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom A) All steps regardless of civil liberties 40% 40% 25% 42% 62% 37% 39% B) Should not violate civil liberties 52 53 67 53 32 57 53 DK/NA 8 7 7 5 7 6 8



TREND: Which comes closer to your view? (A) The government should take all steps necessary to prevent additional acts of terrorism in the United States even if it means your basic civil liberties would be violated. -or- (B) The government should take steps to prevent additional acts of terrorism but not if those would violate your basic civil liberties.

                        Aug 19  Jul 20
                        2005    2005
(A) All steps     
 regardless of    
 civil liberties        38      30
(B) Should not    
 violate civil          55      64
 liberties        
DK/NA                    7       6




17. As you may know, in response to the recent terrorist attacks in London, the New York City Police began conducting random searches of subway and bus passengers carrying bags or backpacks. Do you support or oppose the New York City Police doing this?

                        REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Support 72% 89% 67% 71% 78% 68% 67% Oppose 25 9 29 25 18 28 30 DK/NA 4 1 4 4 4 4 3

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Support 72% 73% 65% 74% 85% 69% 74% Oppose 26 23 30 24 12 29 21 DK/NA 2 4 5 3 3 2 5