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CBS News/New York Times Pre-Inauguration Poll, January 1997 (ICPSR 4585)

Principal Investigator(s): CBS News; The New York Times


This special topic poll, fielded January 14-17, 1997, was undertaken to assess public opinion prior to Bill Clinton's second-term inauguration as President of the United States. Respondents gave their opinions of President Clinton and his handling of the presidency and issues such as foreign policy and the economy, as well as of Hillary Clinton and her handling of the role of first lady. Those polled voiced their concerns about President Clinton's upcoming second term in office, whether he or the Republicans in Congress would have more influence over the country's direction, whether they would be able to work together to solve issues such as Medicare funding and campaign finance reform, and whether recent scandals would interfere with the president's ability to do his job. Respondents rated the condition of the country, the economy, and their own personal lives, and identified the most important problems facing the nation and the United States Congress. Several questions addressed how much respondents trusted the federal government, whether hearings should be held to investigate illegal campaign contributions taken by the Democratic party from foreign businessmen, and whether people needed to take more individual responsibility to solve the country's problems. Views were also elicited on Vice President Al Gore, Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, the United States Congress, and the Republican and Democratic parties. Additional topics focused on the recently passed welfare reform bill, organized prayer in public schools, balancing the federal budget, the Whitewater real estate development project, the Paula Jones lawsuit, how often respondents did volunteer work, and which team they hoped would win the upcoming Super Bowl. Demographic variables include sex, age, education, race, household income, religious preference, type of residential area (e.g., urban or rural), political party affiliation, political philosophy, voter registration status, for whom the respondent voted in the 1996 presidential and United States House of Representatives elections, whether they had a child entering the ninth grade in the fall of 1996, and whether a teenager was living in the household.

Series: CBS News/New York Times Poll Series

Access Notes

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Study Description


CBS News/New York Times. CBS NEWS/NEW YORK TIMES PRE-INAUGURATION POLL, JANUARY 1997. ICPSR04585-v1. New York, NY: CBS News [producer], 1997. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-01-19. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04585.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04585.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    balanced budget, campaign finance reform, Clinton, Bill, Clinton, Hillary, congressional elections (US House), Democratic Party (USA), federal budget, Gingrich, Newt, Gore, Al, Jones, Paula, Medicare, national economy, prayer in schools, presidency, presidential approval, public opinion, Republican Party (USA), responsibility, Social Security, United States Congress, volunteers, welfare reform, Whitewater inquiry

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1997-01

Date of Collection:   

  • 1997-01-14--1997-01-17

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    Persons aged 18 and over living in households with telephones in the contiguous 48 United States.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) The data and documentation for this study were acquired from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. (2) The data available for download are not weighted, and users will need to weight the data prior to analysis. (3) The original data file contained three records per case and was reformatted into a data file with one record per case.


Sample:    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.

Weight:    The data contain a weight variable (WEIGHT) that should be used in analyzing the data.

Mode of Data Collection:    telephone interview


Original ICPSR Release:   2007-01-19



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