Hill.TV poll: Majority overwhelmingly against eliminating passenger screenings at small airports

A majority of voters overwhelmingly said they are against eliminating passenger screenings at small airports, according to a new American Barometer poll. 

The survey, a joint project of Hill.TV and HarrisX polling company, found that 71 percent of those polled said eliminating screenings at such airports would be a major risk to national security, while only 21 percent of those polled said they supported the concept in order to save costs. 

Seventy-one percent of all Republicans, Democrats, and independents also said they opposed the idea. 

The poll, which was conducted from Aug. 3-4, comes after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator David Pekoske said on Tuesday that the agency would not get rid of passenger screening at any federalized U.S. airports. 

CNN reported last week that the Trump administration was mulling major cuts to the government agency, including a plan that would end security screenings for passengers flying out of 150 small- to medium-sized airports. 

The move would have potentially saved $115 million per year, but concerns were raised about its impact on national security. 

"TSA will not be eliminating passenger screening at any federalized U.S. airport as suggested in recent media reports," Pekoske said Tuesday in a statement to The Hill.

"Reporting on pre-decisional budget exercises is misleading as it doesn’t reflect the entire process, and certainly doesn’t take into account the dedicated TSA professionals who work tirelessly to assess impact, risk, and feasibility of different scenarios," he added. 

The TSA was founded in response to the Sept. 11 terror attacks in 2001, when hijackers took control of passenger jets. 

The American Barometer poll was conducted among 1,021 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.07 percentage points. 

— Julia Manchester