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ABC News/Washington Post Poll #1, September 2008 (ICPSR 27325)

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


This poll, fielded September 5-7, 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 national sample of 1,133 adults was surveyed, including an oversample of African Americans. Respondents were asked how closely they were following the 2008 presidential race, the probability that they would vote in the presidential election, their opinions of the candidates and their running mates, for whom they would vote if the election was held that day, the most important issue in their choice for president, and who they supported and trusted more to handle various social issues, education issues, international affairs, and the federal budget deficit. Respondents were also asked how enthusiastic they were about the candidates for president, whether they thought McCain would continue George W. Bush's direction of the country, whether a candidate's choice for running mate made them more confident in that candidate's decision-making, whether McCain's age made respondents uncomfortable, and whether they thought their federal taxes would increase based on who was elected as president. Additional topics focused on respondents' personal finances, abortion, gun control, the war with Iraq, and the United States campaign against terrorism. Demographic information includes voter registration status and participation history, sex, age, race, income, marital status, religious preference, whether the respondent considered themselves to be a born-again evangelical Christian, education level, type of residential area (e.g., urban or rural), political philosophy, political party affiliation, how long the respondent had been a resident in their community, and whether there was children under the age of 18 present in the home.

Series: ABC News/Washington Post Poll Series

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


ABC News/Washington Post Poll #1, September 2008 - Download All Files (4.684 MB)
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ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
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Study Description


ABC News, and The Washington Post. ABC News/Washington Post Poll #1, September 2008. ICPSR27325-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-11-22. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR27325.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR27325.v2

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    abortion, Biden, Joe, Bush Administration (George W., 2001-2009), Clinton, Hillary, Iraq War, McCain, John, national economy, Obama, Barack, Palin, Sarah, personal finances, presidential candidates, presidential elections, presidential performance, public opinion, terrorism, voting behavior, voting preference

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2008-09

Date of Collection:   

  • 2008-09-05--2008-09-07

Unit of Observation:    individual

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

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

ICPSR created a unique sequential record identifier variable named CASEID for use with online analysis.

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

Several codes in the variable CBSA contain diacritical marks.

System missing values were recoded to -1.

Variables FIPS, ZIP, EXCTYPE, BILLCNTR, STATE2, CARRIER, and EXTYPE were recoded to protect respondent confidentiality.


Variables MSA, CSA, CBSA, and METRODIV contain unknown codes.

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.


Sample:    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 oversample of African American respondents.

Weight:    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 oversample of African American respondents was weighted back to their correct share of the national population.

Mode of Data Collection:    computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)

Extent of Processing:   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:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.


Original ICPSR Release:   2010-04-29

Version History:

  • 2010-11-22 Updated ready to go and setup files, and the PDF codebook.



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