Really Cool
    Minority Data

ABC News/Washington Post Poll #3, September 2008 (ICPSR 27327)

Published: Nov 9, 2010 View help for published

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


Version V2

This poll, fielded September 27-29, 2008, 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 1,271 adults was surveyed, including an oversample of African Americans. Information was collected on how closely respondents were following the 2008 presidential race and the chances that they would vote in the upcoming presidential election in November. Respondents were also queried on which candidate they would vote for in the presidential election and who they would like to see win the Democratic nomination. Information was collected on impressions of the vice presidential nominees Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. Respondents were asked what was the single most important issue in their choice for president. Respondents were asked whether they approved of the way George W. Bush was handling the presidency and the economy. Several questions asked respondents to compare Barack Obama and John McCain, and which candidate they trusted to handle issues such as the war in Iraq, energy policy, international affairs, the economy, and taxes. Information was collected on respondents opinions of the presidential debate, specifically who they thought had won and whether it had changed their opinion of either candidate. Respondents were queried on the country's current financial situation and whether they thought it was a serious problem. Respondents were also asked whether they supported the government's bailout of financial institutions and whether they thought the government's efforts would prevent the country's current financial situation from getting worse. Additional questions asked respondents who they thought was to blame for the current financial situation, whether they thought the government's bailout plan did enough to help major financial institutions, the United States economy, and ordinary Americans. Demographic variables include sex, age, marital status, race, income, political ideology, political party affiliation, political philosophy, education level, religious preference, and whether respondents considered themselves to be a born-again Christian.

ABC News, and The Washington Post. ABC News/Washington Post Poll #3, September 2008. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-11-09.

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2008-09-27 -- 2008-09-29

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, STCODE, CONGDIST, 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, METRODIV, and NIELSMKT.

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. This poll included an African American oversample. Please refer to the codebook documentation for more information on sampling.

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 Poll #3, September 2008. ICPSR27327-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-11-09.

2010-11-09 Updated ready to go, setup files (SPSS, Stata, and SAS), and codebook.

2010-04-29 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. The oversample of African American respondents was weighted back to their correct share of the national population.


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

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. Please see version history for more details.
ICPSR logo

This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.