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ABC News/Washington Post Monthly Poll, January 2010 (ICPSR 30201)

Version Date: Apr 13, 2011 View help for published

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ABC News; The Washington Post


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This poll, fielded January 12-15, 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 1,083 adults was surveyed, including an oversample of African Americans. 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 President Obama. Respondents were queried on whether they thought the country was headed in the right direction, and whether they were confident that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party would make the right decisions for the country's future. Respondents were asked whether they approved of the way that Nancy Pelosi was handling her job as Speaker of the House, whether they approved of the way Harry Reid was handling his job as Majority Leader of the Senate, and what was the one most important problem they would like to see President Obama and the Congress deal with this year. Information was collected on whether respondents thought Obama had accomplished a lot during his presidency, whether he was keeping most of his major campaign promises, and who they thought was to blame for the country's economic situation. Respondents were queried on how they thought the United States campaign against terrorism was going, whether the federal government should investigate possible terrorist threats, even if that intrudes on personal privacy, and whether police and other authorities should or should not be permitted to use personal characteristics like religion, or ethnicity, or nationality in deciding who to search in security lines at airports or other locations. Respondents were asked whether they approved or disapproved of President Obama's decision to close the United States military prison in Guantanamo Bay, whether they support or oppose the proposed changes to the health care system, whether they preferred the public option, and whether they have health insurance. Respondents were queried on whether they thought the federal government should try to limit the size of the bonuses banks can pay to their top employees, whether they would support or oppose a special tax on bonuses over one million dollars, and whether they would support or oppose higher taxes targeted at banks that do a lot of trading in the stock market. Finally, respondents were asked whether Obama's presidency has helped or hurt race relations in the United States, whether they favor smaller government with fewer services, or larger government with more services, whether they favor or oppose legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal and medical use, and whether they voted in the last presidential election. 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, January 2010. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-04-13.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2010-01-12 -- 2010-01-15

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

Persons aged 18 years 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, January 2010. ICPSR30201-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-04-13.

2011-04-13 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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