ABC News/Washington Post Poll, January 2008 (ICPSR 24603)

Version Date: Oct 21, 2009 View help for published

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


Version V1

This poll, fielded January 9-12, 2008, is a part of continuing series of monthly polls that solicit public opinion on various political and social issues. A national sample of 1,130 adults was surveyed, including an oversample of African Americans, for a total of 202 African American respondents. Respondents were asked whether they approved of the way George W. Bush was handling his job as president and other issues such as the situation in Iraq and the economy, and whether they thought things in the country were going in the right direction. This poll focused on the 2008 presidential election, and asked respondents what was the single most important issue in their choice for president, how closely they had been following the presidential race, how likely they were to vote in the 2008 presidential primary or caucus in their state, and which candidate they would vote for if the Democratic and Republican primaries were being held that day. Iowa and New Hampshire residents were asked whether they voted in the 2008 primaries in their states and for whom they voted. Respondents were asked for their opinions of the 2008 presidential candidates, including which Democratic and Republican candidates they trusted to handle issues such as health care, the United States campaign against terrorism, immigration, and international affairs, which types of characteristics were important to them in a candidate, which candidate would bring the most change to Washington, and which candidate had the best chance to get elected as president in November 2008. Several questions asked whether respondents were more or less enthusiastic about the candidates based on the possibility that they could become the first president who was African American, female, Mormon, 72 years old when elected, or a Baptist minister, whether being African American would help or hurt Barack Obama's candidacy, and whether the country needed a president to lead the nation in the same direction as George W. Bush. Additional topics included abortion, respondents' economic and financial situation, and the war in Iraq. Demographic information includes sex, age, race, education level, household income, 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, marital status, religious preference, and whether respondents considered themselves to be a born-again Christian.

ABC News, and The Washington Post. ABC News/Washington Post Poll, January 2008. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-10-21.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2008-01-09 -- 2008-01-12

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.

Several codes in the variable CBSA contain diacritical marks.

The data collection was produced by Taylor Nelson Sofres of Horsham, PA. 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.

The variables MSA, CSA, CBSA, and METRODIV contain unknown codes.

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. This poll included an African American oversample.

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, and The Washington Post. ABC News/Washington Post Poll, January 2008. ICPSR24603-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-10-21.

2009-10-21 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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