The CBS News Poll showed 81 percent of Americans approved of the scanners, including a majority of men, women, all age groups, Republicans, Democrats and independents, while only 15 percent disapproved of the devices.
"Al-Qaida and those inspired by its ideology are determined to strike our global aviation system and are constantly adapting their tactics for doing so. Our best defense against such threats remains a risk-based, layered security approach that utilizes a range of measures, both seen and unseen, including law enforcement, advanced technology, intelligence, watch-list checks and international collaboration," Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano said Tuesday.
The poll pointed out that ethnic profiling is not used as a security measure, but the Transportation Security Administration has, since 2003, conducted profiling based on suspicious behavior, CBS said.
The poll showed 52 percent of Americans said ethnic profiling would not be justified, while 37 percent said they would approve of such profiling.
The poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 1,137 adults interviewed by telephone Nov. 7-10. The error margin was plus or minus 3 percentage points.