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ABC News/Washington Post Poll, February 1986

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
abortion; attitudes; budget cuts; censorship; communism; congressional elections; federal budget deficit; feminism; foreign policy; Gorbachev, Mikhail; government programs; government spending; national debt; national economy; nuclear weapons; pornography; presidency; presidential elections; presidential performance; public opinion; racial integration; Reagan Administration (1981-1989); Reagan, Ronald; school busing; space exploration; tax reform; womens movement; working mothers
  • Abstract

    This poll, conducted February 6-12, 1986, 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. Views were sought on the way Ronald Reagan was handling the presidency and issues such as foreign affairs, the condition of the national economy, the role of the federal government, proposals for reducing the federal budget deficit, including cutting specific government programs and increasing taxes, and whether the United States should help try to overthrow pro-communist governments. Respondents were asked whether they had seen or heard President Reagan's State of the Union speech, for whom they would vote in the 1988 presidential primary or caucus in their state, and whether they would vote for the Republican or Democratic candidate in their district in the congressional elections in November. Opinions were sought on the women's movement, including whether women would be better off staying at home raising families or having careers, whether women with children were less reliable workers, and whether it was realistic for women to expect to have a successful career, a good marriage, and a stable home life at the same time. A series of questions addressed respondents' knowledge of the Soviet Union and their impressions of Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet people, and relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. Additional topics included abortion, forced school busing for racial integration, pornography, censorship, daycare arrangements, the space program, and whether the space shuttle program should continue following the recent space shuttle Challenger disaster. Demographic variables include sex, age, race, marital status, education level, household income, political philosophy, political party affiliation, voter registration status and participation history, religion in which respondents were raised, perceived social class, type of residential area (e.g., urban or rural), employment status of respondents and their spouses, the number of people living in the household, and whether anyone in the household was a veteran, a member of a labor union, or employed by the government.
  • Methods

    The data contain a weight variable (WEIGHT) that should be used for analysis.
  • 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 variable labels and/or value labels.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1986-02
  • 1986-02-06 / 1986-02-12
    Collection date: 1986-02-06--1986-02-12
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 using random digit dialing. Within households, respondents were selected using a method developed by Leslie Kish and modified by Charles Backstrom and Gerald Hursh (see Backstrom and Hursh, SURVEY RESEARCH, Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1963).
Collection Mode
  • telephone interview

    The data available for download are not weighted and users will need to weight the data prior to analysis.

    This data collection was produced by Chilton Research Services, Radnor, PA.

2010-05-06 Corrected the data file and updated the study with the full product suite including question text.
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
  • 8574 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR08574.v1
  • Baggette, Jennifer, Shapiro, Robert Y., Jacobs, Lawrence R.. The Polls-Poll Trends: Social Security-An Update. Public Opinion Quarterly.59, (3), 420-442.1995.
    • ID: 10.1086/269485 (DOI)
  • Graham, Thomas W.. The Pattern and Importance of Public Knowledge in the Nuclear Age. Journal of Conflict Resolution.32, (2), 319-334.1988.
    • ID: 10.1177/0022002788032002004 (DOI)
  • Shapiro, Robert Y., Patterson, Kelly D., Russell, Judith, Young, John T.. The polls: Public Assistance. Public Opinion Quarterly.51, (1), 120-130.1987.
    • ID: 10.1086/269020 (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 8 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

ABC News; The Washington Post (1988): ABC News/Washington Post Poll, February 1986. Archival Version. ABC News/Washington Post Poll Series. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.