10/03/2014 03:39 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Americans View Secret Service In A Positive Light, Despite Scandals


A new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds that Americans still have a largely positive opinion of the Secret Service, even after a recent string of embarrassing incidents for the agency that included a man scaling the White House fence and making it deep inside the mansion before being apprehended.

Most Americans are aware of the recent security breach at the White House, with 52 percent saying they have heard a lot about the incident and 35 percent saying they have heard a little about it. Only 13 percent of Americans said they have not heard anything about the fence-jumping incident.

Despite widespread knowledge of the Secret Service's security lapse, though, opinions of the organization are still positive overall. Forty-two percent of Americans said they have a favorable opinion of the U.S. Secret Service, compared to 37 percent who expressed an unfavorable opinion.

Views of the agency are divided along partisan lines, with 57 percent of Republicans expressing a positive opinion of the Secret Service, compared to only 42 percent of Democrats.

A majority of Americans -- 64 percent -- also said they trust the Secret Service "a great deal" or "a fair amount" to protect the president. Only 26 percent of respondents said they have not much trust or no trust at all in the Secret Service.

Americans do want the Secret Service agents responsible for the fence-jumping incident to be held accountable. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said the agents on duty during the recent security breach should be fired, while another 47 percent said those agents should be disciplined. Only 7 percent of Americans said there should be no consequences at all for the agents on duty.

The poll, which was already underway when Secret Service Director Julia Pierson announced her resignation Wednesday, also found that Americans are split about whether that was the right decision. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said Pierson should resign as a result of the incident at the White House, compared to 36 percent who said she should not.

This HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 among 1,000 U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here.



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