Presidential Data Archive

Gallup Polls at the CPS: An Introduction


The Center for Presidential Studies data archive contains Gallup public opinion polls since 1988. These polls contain questions on many topics, including presidential approval, public reactions to national and international events, mass views of electoral politics, and public opinion on social and economic issues. Since the fall of 1998, we have made our Gallup collection available through the World Wide Web for scholarly purposes.

General Description of Data Files

The Centerís Gallup collection is organized chronologically and includes six files (survey; spreadsheet; codebook; dataset; frequencies and a Zip-file) for each poll.

The survey file is a "text" version of the questionnaire. (A Word version is included in more recent Zip files.) The poll or timberline number and the date of each poll are reported on the first page of the survey (usually in the upper right-hand corner). Next to each survey question or response category, the variable number is reported in brackets (e.g., [1001]). Frequently, a respondentís answer is composed of two or more numerical digits. For example, all polls ask respondents to report their age. In these instances, there will be two numbers in a set of brackets (e.g., [1010 1011] that follow the question. The first number in brackets serves as the variable number for that particular question; AGE is V1010. Survey questions that allow for more than one response by a respondent will have multiple variable numbers. When this occurs, a variable number associated with each response is reported. For example, a question requiring up to three responses would have a total of three variable numbers.

The data for each poll is provided in both an Excel spreadsheet and text file. We include the weight variable for each Gallup poll, which is usually denoted as variable 13 [V13]. Variable labels matching those reported in a questionnaire comprise the first row of an Excel spreadsheet.

The codebook serves as a companion to the ASCII dataset in that it provides the text column location for each variable. Although some of the codebook files contain a brief description of each variable, we will no longer provide variable descriptions for polls archived since the spring of 2000. In addition, if there are any data problems associated with specific variables within a poll, we will provide a short note at the bottom of the pollís codebook. Therefore, individuals opting to access data from the Excel file may also find the codebook useful.

We also report the weighted frequencies and percentages for each survey question in text format. Finally, we provide a Zip-file that contains all files for each poll.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding the Centerís data archive page or find any errors or problems related to specific opinion polls, do not hesitate to email the Center for Presidential Studiesí archive staff at

**All published or unpublished manuscripts incorporating information obtained from the Gallup polls on this website must properly acknowledge the Gallup Organization.