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ABC News Sarah Palin Poll, September 2008 (ICPSR 27323)

Version Date: Jul 19, 2010 View help for published

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ABC News


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This special topic poll sought respondents' views on Sarah Palin. Respondents where asked for their impressions of Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. They were also asked if they approved or disapproved of John McCain's choice of Palin as his running mate, if McCain's selection of Palin as his running mate made the respondent more or less likely to vote for him, and if having Palin as his running mate made the respondent more or less confident in the choices McCain would make as president. Respondents were queried on whether they thought both Palin and Biden have the kind of experience it takes to serve effectively as president if necessary. Opinions were sought on how recent events in Palin's life and her stance on issues affected the respondent's opinion of her such as giving birth to her fifth child after learning he had Down Syndrome, her 17-year-old daughter keeping her baby and marrying the father, obtaining 27 million dollars in federal funding for projects as mayor in her town of about 7,000 people, opposing legal abortion unless the mother's life is in direct danger, and opposing stricter controls on handgun ownership. Those queried were also asked if, given what they heard about her family situation, they thought Palin made the right choice in agreeing to run for vice president and whether news coverage of Palin has been fair or unfair. Their opinion was also sought on whether they thought Barack Obama's selection of Biden for vice president made them more or less likely to vote for him. Demographic information includes age, race, sex, party affiliation, voter registration status, political ideology, religious affiliation, and whether the respondent is a born-again Christian.

ABC News. ABC News Sarah Palin Poll, September 2008. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-07-19.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

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.

Several codes in the variable CBSA contain diacritical marks.

Value labels for unknown codes were added in variables MSA, CSA, CBSA, STCODE, and METRODIV.

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.

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. ABC News Sarah Palin Poll, September 2008. ICPSR27323-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-07-19.

2010-07-19 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 (FINALWGT) 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 Americans was weighted to their correct share of the national population.


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

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