ABC News/Washington Post Monthly Poll, January 2009 (ICPSR 27761)

Version Date: Jun 10, 2010 View help for published

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ABC News; The Washington Post


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This poll, fielded January 13-16, 2009, is a part of a continuing series of monthly surveys that solicits public opinion on the presidency and on a range of other political and social issues. A national sample of 1,079 adults was surveyed, including an oversample of 204 African Americans. Opinions were sought on how well George W. Bush handled his job as president, how Dick Cheney handled his job as vice president, and whether things in the country were going in the right direction. Respondents were asked their opinions about how they thought President George Bush would go down in history, how newly elected Barack Obama handled his presidential transition, the level of confidence they had in President Obama and Congress to make decisions for the country's future, the expectations they had for Obama's performance as president, whether he got off to a good start in dealing with the economy, and the confidence level they had that President Obama's economic program would improve the economy. Views were sought on the kind of priority the president and Congress should give several issues including the economy, the situation in Iran, in Israel, and in Afghanistan, the federal budget deficit, education, global warming, health care, immigration issues, the United States campaign against terrorism, and taxes. Respondents were also asked questions about and the kind of priority that should be given to items that could be included in the economic stimulus plan such as upgrading schools with new technology, computerizing American medical records, extending unemployment insurance and health care coverage, and putting a moratorium on home mortgage foreclosures. Several questions addressed race relations and asked such things as whether Blacks in the community receive equal treatment, whether respondents felt they were ever denied housing or a job because of their race, and whether they felt they had ever been stopped by the police because of their race. Additional topics covered included respondents' personal finances, the war in Iraq, the situation in Afghanistan, the United States military prison at Guantanamo Bay, the treatment of terrorist suspects, embryonic stem cell research, and race relations. Demographic variables include sex, age, race, education level, political party affiliation, political philosophy, religious preference, and household income.

ABC News, and The Washington Post. ABC News/Washington Post Monthly Poll, January 2009. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-06-10.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2009-01-13 -- 2009-01-16

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 and ZIP were recoded to protect respondent confidentiality.

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

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 ABCNews Polling Unit Web site and via the Washington Post Opinion Surveys and Polls Web site.

The data contain oversamples of African Americans as identified in the SAMPTYPE variable.

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. The oversample of African Americans were weighed back to their correct share of the national population.

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 Monthly Poll, January 2009. ICPSR27761-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-06-10.

2010-06-10 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.


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

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