ABC News/Washington Post Monthly Poll, November 2009 (ICPSR 29043)

Version Date: Oct 21, 2010 View help for published

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ABC News; The Washington Post


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This poll, fielded November 12-15, 2009, 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 1,001 adults was surveyed. Respondents were asked whether they approved of the way Barack Obama was handling the presidency and the economy, and whether they had a favorable opinion of Barack and Michelle Obama. Respondents were queried on whether they thought the country was headed in the right direction, whether they had a favorable impression of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, and which party they trusted more to do a better job coping with the problems the nation faces over the next few years. Respondents were asked whether they thought President Obama's views on most issues were too liberal or too conservative, whether they thought the leaders of the Republican Party were mainly presenting alternatives to President Obama's proposals or mainly criticizing his proposals without presenting alternatives. Information was collected on whether respondents thought Obama's policies are making the United States safer from terrorism. Respondents were asked a number of questions about the changes to the health care system in the country, whether they had some form of health insurance or health care coverage, and whether they thought the quality of health care would get better, worse, or remain the same. Respondents were queried on whether they would support or oppose having the government create a new health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans, whether they would support or oppose a federal law requiring all companies with a payroll of at least $500,000 either to offer health insurance or pay money into a government fund that would provide assistance buying insurance for people who could not get insurance through work, and whether they would be more likely or less likely to support a candidate for Congress if the candidate supported the proposed changes in health care. Respondents were also asked whether they thought someone who bought private health insurance with government assistance should be allowed to use the coverage for abortions, whether they thought insurance companies that use private funds should cover abortions, and whether they had a good basic understanding of the changes being proposed to the health care system or thought the changes were too complicated. Information was collected on respondents opinions of the economic stimulus plan, whether they thought the plan has helped or hurt the national economy, and whether they felt the economy had begun to recover. Respondents were queried on whether anyone living in their household had been laid off or lost their job in the last year, whether the job loss happened to them, and whether they had found a new job. Respondents were asked a number of questions about the war in Afghanistan, whether they thought the war was worth fighting, how confident they were that Obama would come up with a strategy that would succeed, and whether they thought Obama was giving United States military leaders too much or too little influence. Respondents were queried on whether they thought global warming was happening, how serious a problem global warming was, whether they supported cap and trade, whether they had planned to get the swine flu vaccine for themselves or their children, and whether they were confident that the flu vaccine is safe. Finally, respondents were asked if they were inclined to re-elect their representative in Congress, whether they would vote for Sarah Palin if she runs for president 2012, whether they thought she was qualified to serve as president, and whether terror suspects involved in the September 11 attack should be put on trial in federal courts or in a military tribunal set up for that purpose. Demographic variables include sex, age, race, household income, education level, political party affiliation, political philosophy, religious preference, and whether the respondent is a born-again Christian.

ABC News, and The Washington Post. ABC News/Washington Post Monthly Poll, November 2009. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-10-21.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2009-11-12 -- 2009-11-15

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 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.

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.

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, November 2009. ICPSR29043-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-10-21.

2010-10-21 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. 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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