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Washington Post Virginia Poll, October 2008 (ICPSR 27331)

Version Date: Apr 30, 2010 View help for published

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The Washington Post


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This special topic poll, fielded October 22-25, 2008, focuses on the opinions of 1,026 residents of the state of Virginia including an oversample of respondents aged 18-29. Respondents were asked if they approved of the way George W. Bush was handling his job as president, how much attention they were paying to the 2008 presidential campaign, the chances that they would vote in the presidential election, for whom they would vote if the election were held that day, their opinions of the presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain and their running mates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, the most important issue in their choice for president, how comfortable they would be having Obama being the first Black president and having McCain taking office at the age of 72, and whether they had been contacted by the either of the candidates via email, phone, text message, or in person to solicit their support. Respondents were also asked for their opinions of senatorial candidates Jim Gilmore and Mark Warner, for whom they would vote if the United States Senate election in Virginia were held that day, whether they wanted to see a Democrat or Republican win Virginia's governor's race in 2009 , and for whom they would vote in Virginia's Democratic primary for governor. Demographic variables include sex, age, race, education level, marital status, household income, employment status, political party affiliation, political philosophy, voter registration status and participation history, religious preference, frequency of religious service attendance, whether respondents considered themselves to be a born-again Christians, and whether respondents had children under the age of 18 years living in the household, whether their child attended a public or private school, and whether anyone in the household was a military veteran.

The Washington Post. Washington Post Virginia Poll, October 2008. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-04-30.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2008-10-22 -- 2008-10-25

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, STCODE and NIELSMKT were converted from character to numeric.

Variables CBSA and NIELSMKT contain an unknown codes.

The data contain oversamples of respondents aged 18 to 29, as identified in the SAMPTYPE variable.

The data collection was produced by Taylor Nelson Sofres of Horsham, PA. Original reports using these data may be found via the Washington Post Opinion Surveys and Polls Web site.

Households were selected by random-digit dialing. Within households, the respondent selected was the youngest adult living in the household who was home at the time of the interview. Please refer to the codebook documentation for more information on sampling. This poll included an oversample of respondents aged 18 to 29 years.

Persons aged 18 and over living in households with telephones in the state of Virginia.

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:
  • The Washington Post. Washington Post Virginia Poll, October 2008. ICPSR27331-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-04-30.

2010-04-30 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.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • 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 18- to 29-year-old respondents were weighed back 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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