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CBS News/New York Times Polls, 1979 (ICPSR 7819)

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


This study is part of a continuing series of monthly polls that solicit public opinion on the presidency and on a range of other political and social issues. Each data file in the collection represents a distinct nationwide survey that was conducted during 1979. Approximately 1,000-1,500 randomly selected adults were interviewed by telephone in each poll. Respondents were asked to give their opinions of President Jimmy Carter and his handling of the presidency, foreign affairs, and the economy, as well as their views on a range of current social and economic issues. In addition the March 1979 Poll on Peace in the Middle East (Part 3) focused specifically on the peace treaty signed by Egypt and Israel. Respondents were asked if they believed this agreement would lead to long-term peace between the two nations, whether peace between Israel and other Arab countries was likely, and whether President Carter's participation and the United States' role in facilitating negotiations were necessary to achieve the peace agreement. Nuclear power and energy shortages were explored in Part 4, April 1979 Poll on Nuclear Power. Respondents were asked if they agreed that there was a need for more nuclear power plants, how they felt about having a nuclear power plant in their own community, and, given the choice, if they would rather build more power plants, cut back on personal use of energy, or pay higher prices for foreign oil. Other questions concerned how increasing gasoline prices might affect driving habits, the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident, and whether or not solar energy could solve the energy crisis. The June 1979 Poll-Pre-1980 Election (Part 5) focused on qualities voters looked for in presidential candidates and how ongoing domestic and international issues might affect their pre-election voting preferences. Specific topics included inflation, the energy crisis, and the arms race. Respondents were asked how rising gasoline prices, lines at gas stations, and the prospect of gasoline rationing had impacted their lives and driving habits, what they thought about the arms limitation talks between the United States and the Soviet Union, and whether the SALT treaty, if approved, would reduce the chance of war with the Soviet Union. The primary focus of Part 6, July 1979 Poll on the Oil Shortage, were gasoline and oil shortages, gasoline rationing, increasing energy prices, proposals for reducing energy consumption, and the United States' dependence on foreign oil. Respondents' views on presidential candidates, the influx of Asian refugees ('boat people'), and the possible legalization of marijuana were also elicited. The Mid-July 1979 Poll after President Carter's Speech (Part 7) explored respondents' reactions to the crisis in national confidence that President Carter had referred to in his televised speech. Respondents were asked whether they believed there was a crisis in confidence in the country, and if listening to the speech had changed their own sense of confidence in the United States. In Part 8, November 1979 Poll on Issues of 1979 (with Pre-1980 Election Focus), respondents were asked to rate how they felt things were going in the United States and in their personal life, how this compared to five years before and whether they anticipated the following five years to be better or worse. Additional questions concerned leadership qualities of presidential candidates, abortion rights, the ordination of women, whether the United States should negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and whether the SALT treaty should or should not be approved by the Senate. Background information on respondents includes voter participation history, political party affiliation, political orientation, age, race, religion, education, household income, armed forces service, and participation in labor unions.

Series: CBS News/New York Times Poll Series

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DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  January 1979 Poll - Download All Files (4.065 MB)
DS2:  February 1979 Poll - Download All Files (3.974 MB)
DS3:  March 1979 Poll on Peace in the Middle East - Download All Files (3.999 MB)
DS4:  April 1979 Poll on Nuclear Power - Download All Files (3.984 MB)
DS5:  June 1979 Poll -- Pre-1980 Election - Download All Files (4.047 MB)
DS6:  July 1979 Poll on the Oil Shortage - Download All Files (3.992 MB)
DS7:  Mid-July 1979 Poll After President Carter's Speech - Download All Files (3.922 MB)
DS8:  November 1979 Poll on Issues of 1979 (with Pre-Election Focus) - Download All Files (4.038 MB)

Study Description


CBS News, and The New York Times. CBS News/New York Times Polls, 1979. ICPSR07819-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1981. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07819.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07819.v1

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Scope of Study


Sample:    Random sample.

Data Source:

telephone interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-06-20

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File CB7819.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

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