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ABC News/Washington Post Terrorist Attack Poll #2, September 2001

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • ABC News
  • The Washington Post
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • ABC News/Washington Post Poll Series
Publication Date
Free Keywords
bin Laden, Osama; Bush, George W.; counterterrorism; military intervention; national security; presidency; presidential performance; public confidence; public opinion; public safety; September 11 attack; terrorism; terrorist attacks; terrorist prosecution; trust in government; war
  • Abstract

    This special topic poll, conducted September 13, 2001, was undertaken to assess respondents' reactions to and feelings about the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center towers in New York City, damaged the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and resulted in a plane crash in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. Respondents were asked to give their opinions of President George W. Bush and his handling of the presidency and the terrorist attacks. Respondents were asked whether they believed that the United States government did all it reasonably could do to try to prevent the attacks, and whether they were confident in the ability of the United States government to prevent future terrorist attacks against America. Assuming that the United States is able to identify the groups and/or nations responsible for the attacks, those queried were asked whether they would support taking military action in response. Respondents were asked whether they would feel the same way if military action meant that innocent civilians in other countries might be injured or killed and if military action resulted in a long war with large numbers of troops injured or killed. Those queried were asked whether they believed that the United States would go to war as a result of Tuesday's attacks. Respondents' opinions were elicited on Osama bin Laden, a suspect in the recent attacks, who reportedly lived in Afghanistan and was indicted for directing previous terrorist attacks. They were asked whether they would support attacking Afghanistan militarily if Afghanistan did not turn bin Laden over to the United States. Respondents were also asked whether they would support new laws that would make it easier for the FBI and other authorities to investigate suspected terrorists, giving up some of their personal liberties and privacy as a result of such laws, and whether they would support new airport security measures that might cause long delays in air travel. Those surveyed were asked about their personal safety concerns regarding upcoming air travel and whether they had cancelled or were planning to cancel future travel plans. Additional topics covered whether the attacks had made respondents more suspicious of people of Arab descent, how their children were reacting to the acts of terrorism, and whether the economy was heading into a recession. Background information on respondents includes age, gender, political party, children in household, and frequency of air travel.
  • Methods

    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: Created online analysis version with question text..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: ABC Terrorist Poll #2
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 2001-09
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Collection Mode
  • The data are provided as an SPSS portable file.

    This collection has not been processed by ICPSR staff. ICPSR is distributing the data and documentation for this collection in essentially the same form in which they were received. When appropriate, documentation has been converted to Portable Document Format (PDF), data files have been converted to non-platform-specific formats, and variables have been recoded to ensure respondents' anonymity.

This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 3290 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR03290.v1
  • McArdle, S.C., Rosoff, H., John, R.S.. The dynamics of evolving beliefs, concerns emotions, and behavioral avoidance following 9/11: A longitudinal analysis of representative archival samples. Risk Analysis.32, 744-761.2012.
    • ID: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2012.01814.x (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

ABC News; The Washington Post (2001): ABC News/Washington Post Terrorist Attack Poll #2, September 2001. Archival Version. ABC News/Washington Post Poll Series. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.