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ABC News/Washington Post Clarence Thomas Vote Delay Polls, October 1991 (ICPSR 9766)

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


This data collection consists of telephone surveys concerning the delay of the vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas due to the charge by former co-worker Anita Hill that he sexually harassed her on the job. Demographic information on respondents includes sex, race, age, state of residence, and political party alignment. Parts 1 and 2 (October 8 and 9 Polls), conducted the day the vote was delayed and the day after, examined whether respondents had heard or read about the charge of sexual harassment brought against Clarence Thomas, whether they approved of the Senate's delaying the confirmation vote in order to look into the charge, and whether the Senate should confirm Thomas's nomination to the Supreme Court. Respondents were also asked whether the charge of sexual harassment had changed their opinion on whether to support Thomas, whether the charge, if true, would be reason enough for the Senate to reject his nomination, and whether the charge against Thomas was true according to their best guess. Additional questions probed respondents' opinions on the way the Senate had handled the Thomas nomination, whether the respondent was more likely to believe the man or the woman if a woman said she was sexually harassed on the job by a man, and if the respondent had ever been sexually harassed at work. Part 3 (October 12 Poll), in addition to repeating questions from Parts 1 and 2, examined how closely the respondent had been following the news about charges of sexual harassment brought against Clarence Thomas, whether Hill or Thomas was the more believable witness, whether Thomas was qualified to be a Supreme Court justice, whether Bush could have selected a more qualified candidate, and if the respondent had ever been sexually harassed outside the job. Part 4 (October 13 Poll) replicated previous questions and probed new areas, such as whether Clarence Thomas had been treated fairly or unfairly as a Supreme Court nominee, whether Anita Hill had been treated fairly or unfairly, and whether the person who leaked Anita Hill's Senate Judiciary Committee statement to the news media should face criminal charges. Additional questions included whether respondents approved/disapproved of various people and groups who had been involved in the Senate hearings on Thomas, whether respondents had discussed the issue of sexual harassment with other people as a result of the charge against Thomas, whether the attention given to the issue of sexual harassment would make men be more careful in the way they relate to women in the workplace, whether sexual harassment of women in the workplace is a problem in this country, and whether the Senate investigation of the sexual harassment accusation would end up being a good or a bad thing for the country. Part 5 (October 14 Poll) repeated previous questions and added a new query addressing the issue of whether the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the sexual harassment charge against Clarence Thomas should have been held in private, in public, or not at all.

Series: ABC News/Washington Post Poll Series

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DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  October 8 Poll - Download All Files (0.322 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS2:  October 9 Poll - Download All Files (0.323 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS3:  October 12 Poll - Download All Files (0.368 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS4:  October 13 Poll - Download All Files (0.374 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS5:  October 14 Poll - Download All Files (0.364 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   

Study Description


ABC News/Washington Post. ABC NEWS/WASHINGTON POST CLARENCE THOMAS VOTE DELAY POLLS, OCTOBER 1991. Radnor, PA: Chilton Research Services [producer], 1991. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-12-13. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09766.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09766.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    attitudes, confirmation hearings, Hill, Anita, public opinion, sexual harassment, Supreme Court justices, Supreme Court nominations, Thomas, Clarence, United States Supreme Court

Geographic Coverage:    United States

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

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

A weight variable has been included that must be used in any analysis. Telephone exchanges have been recoded to "999" for reasons of confidentiality.


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

Data Source:

telephone interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1992-05-12

Version History:

  • 2006-12-13 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files have been added to this data collection.
  • 2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 6 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.

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