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ABC News September 11th Anniversary Poll, September 2003

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • ABC News
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • ABC News/Washington Post Poll Series
Publication Date
Free Keywords
air travel; attitudes; Bush, George W.; civil rights; Hussein, Saddam; Iraq War; national security; personal security; presidential performance; public opinion; right to privacy; September 11 attack; social issues; terrorism; terrorist attacks
  • Abstract

    This special topic poll, conducted September 4-7, 2003, is part of a continuing series of monthly surveys that solicit public opinion on a range of political and social issues. The poll was conducted a few days before the second anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Respondents were asked to give their opinions of President George W. Bush and his handling of the presidency, foreign policy, the economy, the United States campaign against terrorism, and the situation in Iraq. Those polled were asked whether terrorism or the economy was a bigger problem, whether they supported the Bush administration's policy on Iraq and the United States military presence there, whether the number of United States military casualties was acceptable, and how well the United States was doing in restoring order in Iraq. Specific questions asked whether the war in Iraq was worth fighting, whether it was part of or separate from the war against terrorism, whether it would decrease terrorism in the long run, and whether it would be a success if Saddam Hussein was not killed or captured. Respondents were asked to rate the performance of groups, institutions, and individuals in dealing with the events of September 11, 2001, and the war on terrorism. They were also asked to evaluate the job done by the United States in preventing terrorist attacks, winning the cooperation of other countries in fighting terrorism, breaking up the al Qaeda network, improving United States intelligence, and reorganizing government agencies. Questions sought respondent views on whether Osama bin Laden had to be captured or killed in order to win the war on terrorism, and whether other countries had done enough to support the United States campaign against terrorism. Respondents were asked to comment on their feelings about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, how often they thought about it, whether it changed the United States and the respondent's life, whether the changes were long- or short-term, big or small, positive or negative, if spending time with family was important to them, how concerned they were about being a victim of a terrorist attack, and how concerned they were about the possibility of more terrorist attacks in the United States. A series of questions addressed whether respondents worried about flying because of the risk of terrorism, if the respondent had flown on a commercial airplane since September 11, 2001, if airport security was better than before the attacks, whether security measures were justified, the usefulness of the government's threat alert system, and whether the United States was safer from terrorism than before the attacks. Opinions were also solicited on whether the United States government was doing enough to protect the rights of American citizens, Arab-Americans, non-citizens, and terrorist suspects, if the federal government was intruding on the respondent's personal privacy rights and whether this was justified, and whether it was more important for the FBI to investigate possible terrorist threats even if it intruded on personal privacy, or for the FBI not to intrude on personal privacy, even if it limited its ability to investigate possible threats. Respondents were also polled on whether they would support or oppose the federal government holding suspected terrorists without trial and using physical torture in an attempt to get information from them. Additional questions addressed whether respondents felt they had a good understanding of the beliefs of Islam, whether it taught respect for the beliefs of non-Muslims, and if their opinion of Islam was favorable or unfavorable. Background variables include age, sex, education, ethnicity, religion, political orientation, political party affiliation, subjective size of community, and household income.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 2003-09
  • 2003-09-04 / 2003-09-07
    Collection date: 2003-09-04--2003-09-07
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Persons aged 18 and over living in households with telephones in the contiguous 48 United States.
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.
Collection Mode
  • Additional information about sampling, interviewing, weighting, and sampling error may be found in the codebook.

    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 study is freely available to ICPSR member institutions via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 3939 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • 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)
  • Brewer, Paul R., Wilcox, Clyde. Same-sex marriage and civil unions. Public Opinion Quarterly.69, (4), 599-616.2005.

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

ABC News (2004): ABC News September 11th Anniversary Poll, September 2003. Version 1. ABC News/Washington Post Poll Series. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.