CBS News Monthly Poll #1, March 1996 (ICPSR 4508)

Published: Jul 29, 2008 View help for published

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CBS News


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This special topic poll, conducted March 20-21, 1996, 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. Respondents of this poll were asked to give their opinions about whether they thought it was possible to start out poor and become rich in this country, whether all Americans had equal opportunities, and whether there were more opportunities for Americans now than in the past. Respondents of this poll were asked to personally evaluate their lives and give their opinions on whether they had more opportunities than most Americans, and whether their lives at that time were the result of luck or fate. This poll also solicited respondents' opinions about how important certain factors were to getting ahead in life. These factors included hard work, knowing the right people, having educated parents, having strong religious faith, having a good education, and the number of years of education. Respondents' opinions were also collected on the importance of having strong religious faith. Other questions sought respondents' opinions on the difficulty of overcoming various situations in order to get ahead in life. These situations included overcoming having a parent that abused alcohol or drugs, living in a high-crime neighborhood, being a victim of physical abuse, growing up in a single parent household and growing up on welfare. Demographic variables include sex, race, age, marital status, employment status, whether respondents grew up in a single parent household, household income, education level, type of residential area (e.g., urban or rural), presence of children and teenagers in the household, political party affiliation, religious preference, and political philosophy.

CBS News. CBS News Monthly Poll #1, March 1996. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-07-29.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
1996-03-20 -- 1996-03-21

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

The data and documentation for this study were acquired from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.

The variables AREACODE and EXCHANGE were recoded for confidentiality.

The original data file contained three records per case and was reformatted into a data file with one record per case.

ICPSR created a unique sequential record identifier variable named CASEID.

Stratified 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).

Adult population of the United States aged 18 and over having a telephone at home.

survey data



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • CBS News. CBS News Monthly Poll #1, March 1996. ICPSR04508-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-07-29.

The data contains a weight variable (WEIGHT) that should be used for analysis.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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