February 18, 2010 - New Yorkers Big On Sugar Drink Tax, Calorie Counts, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Kelly Outscores Bloomberg As Voters Trust Crime Stats

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To balance the city budget New York City voters support 76 - 22 percent a tax on sugary soft drinks, as even Republicans back the measure 60 - 36 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

In a February 4 New York State survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe- ack) University, New York City voters opposed such a tax 50 - 47 percent in a question that referred to an "obesity tax" or "fat tax," but did not mention budget implications.

In the latest survey, support for the sugary drink tax as a budget measure is strong among black, white and Hispanic voters and in every borough.

New York City voters say 84 - 16 percent the law requiring fast-food restaurants to post calorie information is useful, again with strong support from all groups.

Voters also say 77 - 21 percent the Bloomberg administration is correct to encourage restaurants to use less salt. Women say hold the salt 81 - 18 percent, while men support the effort 72 - 25 percent.

Government involvement in such food issues is useful rather than meddling, voters say 79 - 19 percent. And the Bloomberg administration's involvement in these issues is "about right," 55 percent of voters say, as 20 percent say City Hall is going "too far" and 17 percent say "not far enough."

"There's been some grumbling about "nanny government" by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but voters are eating it up. Only a few think Mayor Mike is meddling. It's important, we agree overwhelmingly. And City Hall's menu of food initiatives gets three stars from the voters," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Making restaurants post calories? Combating salt in diets? We're with you, Mayor."

Move the 9/11 terrorist trials out of Lower Manhattan, New York City voters say 68 - 25 percent, with no group opposed to moving the trials.

The trials should be held somewhere in New York State, 42 percent of voters say, as 44 percent say get them out of New York State.

The 9/11 terrorism suspects should be tried as enemy combatants in military courts, 56 percent of New York City voters say, while 36 percent say they should be tried as criminals in civilian courts. Manhattan voters tip 48 - 46 percent in favor of criminal courts, but feeling in the other boroughs is strong in favor of military courts.

"The Bush administration approach to terrorist trials - military, not civilian - wins support in the city that would be the site of the civilian trials. Most New Yorkers, but just a split among Democrats, say alleged terrorists should be tried as enemy combatants, not criminals," Carroll said.

Police Approval

New York City voters approve 70 - 16 percent of the job Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is doing, matching his all-time 70 - 17 percent high in a March 9, 2006 Quinnipiac University poll. Approval ranges from 58 - 27 percent among black voters to 64 - 20 percent among Hispanic voters and 80 - 9 percent among white voters.

Voters approve 69 - 23 percent of the job New York City police are doing and approve 74 - 21 percent of the police in their community. Both of these scores are among the highest ever recorded.

For the police citywide, approval ranges from 54 - 36 percent among black voters to 67 - 25 percent among Hispanic voters to 82 - 12 percent among white voters.

By a 54 - 39 percent margin, New York City voters trust police department statistics showing crime is down. Black voters distrust police statistics 52 - 42 percent, while white voters trust them 65 - 28 percent and Hispanic voters trust them by a narrow 48 - 44 percent.

From February 11 - 15, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,195 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ray Kelly is handling his job as Police Commissioner?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Approve              70%    83%    67%    71%    80%    58%    64%
Disapprove           16      5     18     17      9     27     20
DK/NA                14     12     15     11     10     15     17
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Approve              68%    65%    69%    74%    82%    67%    72%
Disapprove           17     19     14     16     13     20     14
DK/NA                15     16     17     10      5     13     15
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ray Kelly is handling his job as Police Commissioner? (*High also 70% Mar 2006 & Feb 2006)
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS..
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Feb 18  Jul 28  Jun 17  Feb 24  Feb 18   Jan 16  Jan 16
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2010*   2007    2007
 
Approve              70      67      63      64      70      52      52
Disapprove           16      20      22      20      16      34      34
DK/NA                14      13      14      16      14      14      14
 
 
9. As you may know the Obama administration is considering moving the trials of suspected 9/11 terrorists out of Lower Manhattan. Do you think the trials of the suspected 9/11 terrorists should be moved out of Lower Manhattan or stay in Lower Manhattan?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Moved                68%    91%    63%    67%    74%    64%    67%
Stay                 25      8     28     26     19     25     26
DK/NA                 8      1      9      7      6     11      7
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Moved                55%    64%    69%    76%    78%    64%    70%
Stay                 35     27     24     16     17     26     24
DK/NA                10      9      7      7      5     10      6
 
 
10. If the trials of suspected 9/11 terrorists are moved out of Lower Manhattan, should the trials be held elsewhere in New York State or held outside of New York State?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
In NY State          42%    19%    45%    45%    38%    48%    39%
Outside NY State     44     70     39     42     47     40     48
DK/NA                14     12     15     13     15     11     13
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
In NY State          42%    46%    43%    39%    30%    39%    44%
Outside NY State     48     41     35     49     59     44     43
DK/NA                10     14     22     12     12     17     13
 
 
11. Do you think the suspected 9/11 terrorists should be tried as criminals in civilian court or as enemy combatants in military court?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Criminals            36%    11%    44%    32%    32%    37%    39%
Enemy combatants     56     86     48     60     62     55     53
DK/NA                 8      3      8      7      6      8      8
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Criminals            37%    35%    48%    28%    32%    34%    38%
Enemy combatants     55     55     46     64     65     58     53
DK/NA                 8     10      6      8      2      7      9
 
 
17. To balance the city budget, would you support or oppose a tax on sugary soft drinks?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Support              76%    60%    78%    77%    73%    77%    76%
Oppose               22     36     19     22     26     20     20
DK/NA                 3      4      3      1      1      3      4
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Support              74%    73%    81%    78%    61%    73%    77%
Oppose               21     24     18     19     39     24     20
DK/NA                 5      2      2      3      -      3      3
 
 
28. When it comes to trying to improve people's health habits, do you think the Bloomberg adminstration's policies have gone too far, not far enough, or they are about right?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Too far              20%    31%    17%    22%    24%    16%    22%
Not far enough       17     12     19     16     13     22     19
About right          55     46     57     57     58     54     49
DK/NA                 7     10      6      6      5      8     11
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Too far              22%    21%    17%    20%    28%    23%    18%
Not far enough       15     23     15     16     16     18     17
About right          54     48     63     57     53     54     56
DK/NA                10      8      4      8      3      5      9
 
 
29. Do you think the New York City law requiring fast-food restaurants to post calorie information is useful or not useful?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Useful               84%    69%    88%    82%    81%    89%    83%
Not useful           16     30     12     18     18      9     16
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      -      1      1
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Useful               84%    84%    84%    83%    78%    82%    85%
Not useful           15     15     15     15     22     18     14
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      -      1      1
 
 
30. Do you think the Bloomberg administration is correct to encourage New York City restaurants to use less salt in food preparation or don't you think so?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Yes/Correct          77%    55%    80%    76%    69%    83%    82%
No/Not               21     44     18     22     28     15     17
DK/NA                 2      2      2      2      2      2      1
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Yes/Correct          83%    77%    75%    78%    64%    72%    81%
No/Not               15     21     23     21     34     25     18
DK/NA                 2      3      1      2      2      3      1
 
 
31. Which comes closer to your point of view regarding the government getting involved with things like the salt content and calorie posting of restaurant food - it is important because it helps improve public health or it is just meddling?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Important            79%    50%    86%    75%    73%    89%    81%
Meddling             19     48     12     22     25      9     15
DK/NA                 3      3      1      3      2      3      3
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Important            86%    79%    77%    79%    69%    77%    80%
Meddling             13     19     18     20     31     20     17
DK/NA                 1      3      5      2      1      3      2
 
 
32. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the New York City police are doing their job?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Approve              69%    87%    66%    71%    82%    54%    67%
Disapprove           23     12     25     23     12     36     25
DK/NA                 8      1      9      6      6     10      8
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Approve              58%    66%    73%    73%    86%    71%    67%
Disapprove           33     26     17     22     12     22     24
DK/NA                10      8     10      5      2      6      9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the New York City police are doing their job?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Feb 18  Jun 17  May 8   Mar 13  Feb 7   Apr 20  Apr 20
                     2010    2009    2008    2008    2002    2000    2000
 
Approve              69      64      51      60      76      43      43
Disapprove           23      31      43      33      18      48      48
DK/NA                 8       5       6       7       6       9       9
 
 
33. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the police in your community are doing their job?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Approve              74%    84%    72%    75%    84%    57%    76%
Disapprove           21     15     22     20     12     37     16
DK/NA                 5      1      6      5      4      6      7
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Approve              67%    69%    81%    74%    85%    75%    73%
Disapprove           26     26     14     19     13     21     21
DK/NA                 7      4      5      7      2      4      6
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the police in your community are doing their job? (*Low also 65% Oct 1997)
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS..
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Feb 18  Jun 17  May 8   Mar 15  Feb 7   Apr 20  May 8
                     2010    2009    2008    2007    2002    2000*   2008
 
Approve              74      71      66      68      79      65      66
Disapprove           21      24      30      27      18      28      30
DK/NA                 5       4       4       5       3       6       4
 
 
34. Do you trust police department statistics showing crime in New York City is going down or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Yes                  54%    65%    53%    56%    65%    42%    48%
No                   39     27     42     35     28     52     44
DK/NA                 7      8      5      9      7      6      8
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Yes                  39%    52%    62%    57%    62%    57%    51%
No                   55     41     31     35     34     36     41
DK/NA                 5      7      8      8      3      6      8