The creation of the Department of Homeland Security was a landmark in the history of the U.S. federal government. With the largest reorganization of the federal executive branch in decades, policymakers sought to group agencies with missions related to homeland security under one cabinet level official. It is natural to ask whether this reorganization has succeeded. One measure of that success would be public confidence in the competency of the department. In this paper, we report the results of a national poll which asked a variety of questions related to individuals’ perceptions of the Department of Homeland Security. The results illustrate that the level of confidence in the competency of the Department of Homeland Security is generally high—though there are divisions among people’s evaluations based on party, religiosity, attention to terrorism, and education level.
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