ABC News/Washington Post Poll, April 2008 (ICPSR 24606)

Version Date: Nov 12, 2009 View help for published

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ABC News; The Washington Post


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This poll, fielded April 10-13, 2008, 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. A random national sample of 1,197 adults were surveyed, including additional interviews with randomly selected African Americans and Catholics, for a total of 213 African American respondents and 292 Catholic respondents. Views were sought on how well George W. Bush was handling the presidency, the war in Iraq, and the economy. Respondents were asked what they thought was the single most important issue in their choice for president, and their opinion of Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton. Respondents were also queried on whether they thought the war in Iraq was worth fighting, whether significant progress was made toward restoring civil order, whether the United States should keep its military forces there until civil order is restored, and whether they thought the United States must win the war in Iraq for the war on terrorism to be a success. Information was collected on how closely respondents were following the 2008 presidential race, which candidate they would like see win the Democratic nomination for president, whether the tone of the Democratic campaign was positive, whether the length of the Democratic race was good for Democrats, and how the super delegates should choose which candidate to nominate based on different counting methods. Several questions asked respondents to compare Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and which candidate they trusted to handle issues such as international trade, the economy, and health care. Respondents were asked which candidate they would vote for if the 2008 presidential election were being held that day and whether a Democratic or Republican president would do a better job handling the situation in Iraq and the economy. Views were sought on Pope Benedict XVI and whether he should maintain the traditional policies of the Roman Catholic Church, whether the Catholic Church is in touch with American Catholics today, policies on women becoming priests, marriage for Catholic priests, and how the Catholic Church has handled the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests. Additional topics included the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controversy, the state of the national economy, respondents' financial situation, gas prices, whether government assistance such as new tax breaks for businesses would avoid or soften a recession, and respondents' plans for a federal rebate. Demographics variables include sex, age, marital status, race, income, voter registration status, political ideology, political party affiliation, political philosophy, education level, religious preference, frequency of religious attendance, and whether respondents considered themselves to be a born-again Christian.

ABC News, and The Washington Post. ABC News/Washington Post Poll, April 2008. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-11-12.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2008-04-10 -- 2008-04-13

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

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

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

System-missing values were recoded to -1.

The CASEID variable was created for use with online analysis.

Value labels for unknown codes were added in variables MSA, CSA, CBSA, and METRODIV.

The variable CBSA contains 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.

Variables MSA, CSA, and CBSA contain values for which there are no known 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. Please refer to the codebook documentation for more information on sampling.

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, April 2008. ICPSR24606-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-11-12.

2009-11-12 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. Until 2008 ABC News used a cell-based weighting system in which respondents were classified into one of 48 or 32 cells (depending on sample size) based on their age, race, sex and education; weights were assigned so the proportion in each cell matched the Census Bureau's most recent Current Population Survey. To achieve greater consistency and reduce the chance of large weights, ABC News in 2007 tested and evaluated iterative weighting, commonly known as raking or rim weighting, in which the sample is weighted sequentially to Census targets one variable at a time, continuing until the optimum distribution across variables (again, age, race, sex and education) is achieved. ABC News adopted rim weighting in January 2008. Weights are capped at lows of 0.2 and highs of 6. The oversamples of African American and Catholic respondents were weighted back to their correct share of the national population. The sample included randomly selected African Americans and Catholics, a total of 213 African American respondents and 292 Catholic respondents.


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

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