Washington Post District of Columbia Poll, January 2008 (ICPSR 24602)

Version Date: Oct 12, 2009 View help for published

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The Washington Post



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This special topic poll, fielded January 3-8, 2008, is a part of continuing series of monthly polls that solicit public opinion on various political and social issues. The District of Columbia was the focus of this poll. Residents were asked for their feelings about the future of the District of Columbia, whether they thought the District was moving in the right direction, and the biggest problems facing the District at that time. Respondents were asked for their opinions of Mayor Adrian Fenty and whether they approved of the way he was handling his job and other issues such as improving city services, reducing crime, creating more jobs for District residents, the number of African Americans serving in city government, as well as their opinions of Mayor Fenty's relations with the District Council. Opinions were also solicited on the District of Columbia Council, respondents' own ward council members, the District police, Ward Eight Representative Marion Barry, head coach of the Washington Redskins Joe Gibbs, Police Chief Cathy Lanier, District Council Chairman Vincent Gray, Chancellor of the District of Columbia public schools Michelle Rhee, and District of Columbia Chief Financial Officer Natwar Ghandi. Several questions asked about issues in the respondents' own neighborhood, including safety from crime, how the process of redevelopment would affect the rich and poor, the neighborhood, and the city overall, whether respondents thought they would be forced from their homes due to the redevelopment, and whether respondents thought they could find a home they could afford within the District if they had to move that day. A series of questions focused on District public schools, including the school system's budget, violence and crime in the schools, lack of parental involvement, what was the biggest problem facing District public schools, and whether the transfer of control of District public schools to the mayor had made a difference. Additional topics included the theft of millions of dollars from the city by employees in the District's Tax and Revenue Department, respondents' financial situation, the Washington Nationals major league baseball team and new publicly funded baseball stadium, opinions on financing a soccer stadium for the team D.C. United, terrorist attacks in the Washington area, and gun control. Demographic information includes sex, age, race, education level, household income, whether anyone in the household worked for the federal or city government, frequency of religious attendance, type of residential area (e.g., urban or rural), whether respondents rented or owned their home, voter registration status and participation history, political party affiliation, political philosophy, the presence of children under 18 in the household, and whether respondents had children in the District of Columbia public school system.

The Washington Post. Washington Post District of Columbia Poll, January 2008. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-10-12. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR24602.v1

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2008-01-03 -- 2008-01-08

The data available for download are not weighted. Users will need to weight the data prior to analysis.

The CASEID variable was created for use with online analysis.

System missing values were recoded to -1.

To preserve respondent confidentiality, codes for the variables FIPS (FIPS County) and ZIP (ZIP Code) have been replaced with blank codes.

The variables PCTBLACK, PCTASIAN, PCTHISP, BLOCKCNT, MSAFLAG, CSA, CBSA, METRODIV, ZIP, NIELSMKT, STCODE, and CONGDIST were converted from character to numeric.

The data collection was produced by Taylor Nelson Sofres of Horsham, PA. Original reports using these data may be found via the Washington Post Opinion Surveys and Polls Web site.

Several codes in the variable CBSA contain diacritical marks.

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 District of Columbia.

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:
  • The Washington Post. Washington Post District of Columbia Poll, January 2008. ICPSR24602-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-10-12. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR24602.v1

2009-10-12 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:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The data contain a weight variable (WEIGHT) that should be used in analyzing the data. The weights were derived using demographic information from the Census to adjust for sampling and nonsampling deviations from population values. Respondents customarily were classified into one of 48 cells based on age, race, sex, and education. Weights were assigned so the proportion in each of these 48 cells matched the actual population proportion according to the Census Bureau's most recent Current Population Survey.


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

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