CBS News Federal Budget Deficit Poll, October 1990 (ICPSR 9614)

Published: Jul 20, 2009

Principal Investigator(s):
CBS News

Version V2

This survey focuses on issues related to difficulties encountered by the federal government in reaching agreement on a federal budget deficit reduction plan. Respondents indicated their approval or disapproval of President Bush's handling of both his presidency and the budget deficit, identified President Bush or Congress as being more to blame or equally to blame for the difficulties in dealing with the deficit, and specified whether Republicans or Democrats in Congress were more at fault or equally at fault in dealing with the deficit situation. Respondents were queried regarding their general knowledge of the problem, including how closely they had followed the difficulties with the budget, their perception of the difficulties as either a true crisis or a political machination, and their opinion of the House of Representatives' rejection of the deficit reduction compromise arrived at by the President and leaders of Congress. Regarding the House's rejection of the compromise, those surveyed indicated whether they would vote for their representative based on his/her vote on the compromise, and if they knew how their representative had voted. Respondents also reacted to Bush's shutting down of various government services rather than signing a bill to extend them another week and indicated whether they had been affected by the shutdown or if they anticipated being affected. In addition, respondents revealed their preference for a large across-the-board cut in all government programs and services or a federal budget deficit reduction plan, and speculated about whether Congress was likely to arrive at a plan that would be fair. Those surveyed also indicated whether they would be willing to comply with a series of measures to reduce the deficit, including paying an additional $100 to $500 a year in taxes, raising the charge for Medicare, raising the tax on beer, wine, liquor, and gasoline, limiting government health and education services, and raising taxes for people with incomes of over $100,000 a year. Respondents also evaluated the strength of Bush's leadership in trying to settle the budget, indicated whether or not they were registered to vote and if they would vote for the Republican or Democratic candidate in their district for the House of Representatives if that election were held today, commented on whether most congressmen have made decisions based on what is best for the country or what they think will insure re-election, and characterized the cause of difficulty in reaching a budget agreement as either disagreement over important issues or political bickering. Background information on respondents includes political alignment, employment of a household member by the federal government, income, education, age, race, sex, number of adults at home, and state/region of residence.

CBS News. CBS News Federal Budget Deficit Poll, October 1990. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-07-20.

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A weight variable is included that must be used in any analysis. Telephone exchanges and numbers have been recoded to "999" for reasons of confidentiality.

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.

telephone interviews

survey data



2009-07-20 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setups have been added to this data collection.

1992-05-12 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.


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

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