“Massive Swing” in Attitudes on Surveillance – Quinnipiac University National Poll

From today’s Politico Playbook:

American voters say 55-34 percent that Edward Snowden is a whistle-blower, rather than a traitor … In a massive shift in attitudes, voters say 45-40 percent the government’s anti-terrorism efforts go too far restricting civil liberties, a reversal from a January 10, 2010, survey … when voters said 63-25 percent that such activities didn’t go far enough to adequately protect the country. Almost every party, gender, income, education, age and income group regards Snowden as a whistle-blower rather than a traitor. … There is little difference among Democrats and Republicans … Some of the largest growth in those concerned about the threat to civil liberties is among men and Republicans, groups historically more likely to be supportive of governmental anti-terrorism efforts.

“‘The massive swing in public opinion about civil liberties and governmental anti-terrorism efforts [reflect] apparent shock at the extent to which the government has gone in trying to prevent future terrorist incidents,’ said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. ‘The fact that there is little difference now along party lines … is in itself unusual … [I]t would be naive to see these numbers as anything but evidence of a rethinking by the public about the tradeoffs between security and freedom.”