ABC News/Washington Post Inaugural Poll, January 1997 (ICPSR 2173)

Version Date: Jan 14, 2008 View help for published

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ABC News; The Washington Post


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This special topic poll, conducted January 13-15, 1997, is part of a continuing series of monthly polls that solicit public opinion on the presidency and on a range of other political and social issues. This data collection was undertaken to assess public opinion prior to President Bill Clinton's second-term inauguration as president of the United States. Respondents were asked to give their opinions of President Clinton and his handling of the first term of his presidency, whether he would do a better or worse job in his second term in office, whether they approved of his choices for Cabinet and other top positions in his administration, and what the nature of his relationship with Congress should be in his second term. Views were sought on whether President Clinton had made progress toward reducing unemployment and improving education during his first term, and whether he would make substantial progress in these areas during his second term. Respondents rated the most important issue facing the country, whether they were better or worse off financially compared to four years ago, whether they approved of the way Congress was handling its job, whether they expected Congress to do a better job in the next two years, and whether they trusted the Clinton administration or the Republicans in Congress to handle the main problems the nation would face over the next few years. Other questions asked whether respondents approved of the way Hillary Clinton was handling her job as first lady and the amount of influence she held over her husband, and whether she should play a greater role in her husband's second administration. A series of questions asked about recent allegations involving President Clinton, including Whitewater, the Democratic National Campaign Committee's acceptance of foreign contributions, and former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones's sexual harassment charges, and whether they would interfere with his ability to serve as president. Additional topics addressed what actions the government should take to protect the long-term financial stability of Social Security and the Medicare health system and the overall level of ethics and honesty in politics and the federal government. Demographic variables include sex, age, race, education level, household income, political party affiliation, political philosophy, and voter participation history.

ABC News, and The Washington Post. ABC News/Washington Post Inaugural Poll, January 1997. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-01-14.

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1997-01-13 -- 1997-01-15
(1) The data available for download are not weighted and users will need to weight the data prior to analysis. (2) Original reports using these data may be found via the ABC News Polling Unit Web site and via the Washington Post Opinion Surveys and Polls Web site. (3) The meaning of the variable SELECTB is unknown and may be associated with the sampling method of selecting a respondent based on the adult living in the household who last had a birthday. (4) According to the data collection instrument, code 3 in the variable Q909 also includes respondents who answered that they had attended a technical college. (5) Value labels for unknown codes were add in the variables RECODED_AGE and Q1. (6) The CASEID variable was created for use with online analysis.

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.

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

survey data


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • ABC News/The Washington Post. ABC NEWS/WASHINGTON POST INAUGURAL POLL, JANUARY 1997. ICPSR02173-v2. Radnor, PA: Chilton Research Services [producer], 1997. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-01-14.

2008-01-14 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files, and SAS and Stata supplemental files have been added to this data collection. Respondent names were removed from the data file and the CASEID variable was created for use with online analysis. Question text has been added to the codebook, and the data collection instrument has been taken out of the codebook and made into its own file.

1998-07-15 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created online analysis version with question text.

The data contain a weight variable (WEIGHT) that should be used in analyzing the data. This poll consists of "standard" national representative samples of the adult population with sample balancing of sex, race, age, and education.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. Please see version history for more details.
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