January 23, 2007

Favor National Identity Cards

57%

That’s the number of Americans who favor requiring all U.S. citizens to carry a national identity card at all times — the same proportion favors allowing airport personnel to do extra checks on passengers who appear to be of Middle Eastern descent.

Nearly six-in-ten adult Americans (57%) favor requiring all US citizens to carry a national identity card at all times. A new Pew poll also finds the same percentage favoring allowing airport personnel to do extra checks on passengers who appear to be of Middle Eastern descent. By contrast, there is much less support for the government monitoring personal communications and credit card purchases — especially when people are asked specifically about government monitoring of their personal calls and credit card purchases. In the current survey, just 22% favor allowing the government to monitor their personal phone calls and emails; this is consistent with support for this step since the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Only about a quarter (26%) favor the government monitoring their credit card purchases. More Americans backed this policy in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 (40%), but support fell soon afterward. Read More