ABC News/Washington Post Monthly Poll, February 2010 (ICPSR 30202)

Published: May 2, 2011

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


Version V1

This poll, fielded February 4-8, 2010, 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 1,004 adults was surveyed. Respondents were asked whether they approved of the way Barack Obama was handling the presidency, the economy, health care, and the federal budget deficit, and whether they had a favorable opinion of Barack Obama. Respondents were queried on whether they approved of the way the United States Congress was doing its job, which party they trusted more to do a better job coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years, and how often they thought republicans in the Senate should use their power to block legislation proposed by President Obama and the Senate democrats. Respondents were asked whether they thought Obama was doing too much or too little to compromise with the republican leaders in Congress on important issues, whether they thought republican leaders were doing too much or too little to compromise with Obama on important issues, whether they thought the recession was over, or not over, and whether they thought the economy has or has not begun to recover. Information was collected on whether respondents support or oppose stricter federal regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business, whether they support or oppose the proposed changes to the health care system, whether they think lawmakers in Washington should keep trying to pass a comprehensive health care reform plan, or should give up on it, and whether they have some form of health insurance or health care coverage. Respondents were asked if they had a favorable impression of the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party, and whether or not they thought Palin was qualified to serve as president. Respondents were queried on whether they thought homosexuals who do not publicly disclose their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve in the military, whether they thought homosexuals who do publicly disclose their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve in the military, and whether they thought it should be legal or illegal for gay and lesbian couples to get married. Respondents were asked whether they would rather have suspects accused of involvement in the September 11 terrorist attacks be put on trial in the federal court system in the United States, or in a military tribunal, and whether they support or oppose the recent ruling by the Supreme Court that says corporations and unions can spend as much money as they want to help political candidates win elections. Finally respondents were asked whether they were inclined to vote to re-elect their representative in Congress in the next election, or whether they were inclined to look around for someone else to vote for, which party they would vote for in the upcoming United States House of Representatives elections, and whether their mood was anti-incumbent or pro-incumbent for the upcoming elections. Demographic variables include sex, age, race, household income, education level, political party affiliation, political philosophy, political ideology, religious preference, and whether the respondent is a born-again Christian.

ABC News, and The Washington Post. ABC News/Washington Post Monthly Poll, February 2010. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-05-02.

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2010-02-04 -- 2010-02-08

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

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 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.

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

computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)



2011-05-02 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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