A whopping 81 percent of Americans surveyed during the Persian Gulf war said they get most of their information from TV, a poll found.

"And for the first time, a majority of Americans, 54 percent, mentioned only television as their source of news in February," said Tom Miller, who directed the poll for the Roper Organization. It was released Wednesday.Last December, just before the war started, a record 69 percent of Americans polled said they got most of their news from television.

"When we asked the same question again in February, once the air war was under way, that new record was shattered by an even higher number: 81 percent," Miller said. "When we asked specifically where people got most of their news about the war in the Persian Gulf, we got similar readings: 82 percent."

He addded, though, that February's figures are likely to be a "blip on the graph."

The question in Roper's 1991 survey on television was the same one that had led the biennial poll since 1959:

"I'd like to ask you where you usually get most of your news about what's going on in the world today: From the newspapers or radio or television or magazines or talking to people, or where?"

When the Roper Organization began conducting the poll in 1959, Miller said, the TV news inquiry was a throwaway question, "something that was easy to answer, leading respondents into the more substantive parts of the survey."

Since 1961, the poll has found most Americans believe TV news is more credible than other media.