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ABC News/Washington Post Monthly Poll, February 2009 (ICPSR 27762)

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


This poll, fielded February 19-22, 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. Opinions were sought on how well Barack Obama was handling the presidency, the economy, and appointments to his cabinet, and whether things in the country were generally going in the right direction. Respondents were asked whether they approved of the way Republicans and Democrats in Congress were doing their jobs, whether they trusted the Democrats in Congress, the Republicans in Congress or President Obama to do a better job in handling the economy and coping with the main problems the nation faced. Several questions addressed the stimulus plan asking respondents whether they supported the plan, whether the plan would help the local economy in their area or their personal financial situation, whether it would be enough to improve the economy, and whether the stimulus package went far enough in terms of tax cuts and aides to states and individuals. Information was collected on whether respondents were confident that the federal government would implement adequate controls to avoid fraud with the use of federal money used for the nation's economic recovery, how concerned they were about the size of the federal deficit, whether stricter regulations should be placed on the way financial institutions conduct business, whether the government should provide refinancing assistance to homeowners, and whether additional government loans should be given to United States automakers. Respondents were asked questions about the effect the economy had in their lives. They were asked how financially secure they felt, whether the recession hurt them financially, how optimistic they felt about the state of the economy and their family's financial situation, whether they had cut back on their spending, and whether the economic situation was a cause of stress in their lives. Respondents were also asked how long they thought the recession would last, how confident they were they would retire with enough income to sustain them for the rest of their lives, how concerned they were about having enough money to pay their rent or mortgage, and whether they or anyone they knew had experienced or was concerned about job loss or pay cuts. Other topics focused on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Washington DC's delegate in Congress being a nonvoting member of the United States House of Representatives. Demographic variables include sex, age, race, education level, marital status, political party affiliation, political philosophy, household income, religious preference, home ownership, and whether respondents considered themselves to be a born-again Christian.

Series: ABC News/Washington Post Poll Series

Access Notes

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ABC News/Washington Post Monthly Poll, February 2009 - Download All Files (4.187 MB)
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Study Description


ABC News, and The Washington Post. ABC News/Washington Post Monthly Poll, February 2009. ICPSR27762-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-04-30. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR27762.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR27762.v1

Export Citation:

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

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    Afghanistan War, automobile industry, consumer expenditures, Democratic Party (USA), economic conditions, economic crises, economic recovery, federal budget deficit, federal government, financial industry, Iraq War, job loss, job security, national economy, Obama Administration (2009- ), Obama, Barack, personal finances, presidency, presidential performance, public opinion, recession, Republican Party (USA), stress, United States Congress

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2009-02

Date of Collection:   

  • 2009-02-19--2009-02-22

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 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 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.

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.

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:   2010-04-30



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