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ABC News/Washington Post Pre-Debate Poll, September 2004 (ICPSR 4123)

Principal Investigator(s): ABC News; The Washington Post


This special topic poll, conducted September 23-26, 2004, is part of a continuing series of monthly surveys that solicit public opinion on the presidency and on a range of other political and social issues. Respondents were asked to give their opinions of United States President George W. Bush, how he has handled his presidency, how he compares to Democratic presidential candidate Senator John F. Kerry on trustworthiness, leadership abilities, honesty, and other qualities, and the state of the economy at the time of the survey. In addition to Bush and Kerry, Ralph Nader (Independent) was a candidate for president and the candidates for vice-president were incumbent Vice-President Dick Cheney (Republican), Senator John Edwards (Democrat), and Peter Camejo (Independent). Respondents were further asked for whom they would vote if the election were held in September, how closely they were following the election, whether they were a strong supporter of either candidate, which candidate was better qualified to be commander-in-chief of the United States armed services, to rate the likelihood they would vote in the November 2004 presidential election, what two issues were most important in choosing the president, and what one personal quality was most important for the president to possess. Further questions addressed respondents' satisfaction with the direction the country was heading in, the long-term effects of military action in Iraq on United States security, the degree of success the United States was achieving in Iraq, and the economic and human costs of military action in Iraq. Additional questions concerned whether respondents were better off financially in September 2004 than before September 11, 2001, whether respondents were personally contacted by representatives of the presidential candidates' campaigns, and whether respondents planned to watch the first debate televised on September 30, 2004. Background information includes age, degree of urbanization, education, ethnicity, labor union membership within the household, level of religiosity, marital status, military veteran status within the household, the number of children living in the household, political ideology, political party affiliation, political party lean, religious affiliation, sex, voter registration status, and whether the respondent voted in the 2000 United States presidential election and if so, for whom they voted: Vice-President Al Gore (Democrat) or governor George W. Bush (Republican).

Series: ABC News/Washington Post Poll Series

Access Notes

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Study Description


ABC News, and The Washington Post. ABC News/Washington Post Pre-Debate Poll, September 2004. ICPSR04123-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2005-04-29. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04123.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04123.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    Bush Administration (George W., 2001-2009), Bush, George W., Cheney, Dick, Edwards, John, elections, Iraq War, Kerry, John, leadership, Nader, Ralph, national economy, national security, party identification, political campaigns, political debate, political interest, presidential campaigns, presidential candidates, presidential debates, presidential performance, public approval, public opinion, terrorism, voter interest, voter preferences, voting behavior

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2004-09

Date of Collection:   

  • 2004-09-23--2004-09-26

Unit of Observation:    individuals

Universe:    Persons aged 18 and over living in households with telephones in the contiguous 48 United States.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Additional information about sampling, interviewing, weighting, and sampling error may be found in the codebook.


Sample:    Households were selected by random-digit dialing. Within households, the respondent selected was the adult living in the household who last had a birthday and who was home at the time of the interview.

Weight:    The data contain weights that should be used for analysis.

Mode of Data Collection:    telephone interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   2005-04-29



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