April 14, 2010 - New Yorkers Oppose Fat-Tax 2-1, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; But Split On Tax If Money Is Promised For Health Care

Word format

New York State voters oppose 66 - 31 percent an "obesity tax or a fat tax on non-diet sugary soft drinks," according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

But voters split 48 - 49 percent when asked if they "support or oppose a tax on sugary soft drinks if the money was used to fund health care," the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh- pe-ack) University poll finds.

Opposition to the "fat tax" is strong across the political spectrum and among men and women. But there is a big racial split, with white voters opposed to the tax 72 - 26 percent and black voters opposed 51 - 43 percent.

When "health care" is added to the tax question, Democrats shift to 64 - 35 percent in favor, while opposition from Republican and independent voters is reduced. Opposition from white voters drops to 56 - 41 percent as black support increases to 73 - 26 percent.

Parents of children under 18 shift from 66 - 32 percent opposition to the "fat tax" to 53 - 46 percent opposition to the "health care" tax.

Obesity among children and teens is a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem in New York, 89 percent of voters say. But 54 percent of voters say government action to fight childhood obesity is "meddling," while 41 percent say government should act.

"New Yorkers to Albany: Can the soda tax," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "We might crack the can if the money goes for health care.

"Sure, childhood obesity is a serious problem, New Yorkers agree. But most think a state campaign against it is government meddling."

While 89 percent of New York State voters say childhood obesity is a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem, only 4 percent of parents say they have a child who is "seriously overweight." And only 11 percent of all voters consider themselves "seriously overweight."

New York State voters say 59 - 38 percent that the state should ban the sale of soda in public schools. Parents support the soda ban 66 - 31 percent.

By a larger 65 - 34 percent margin, voters say the state should ban the sale of junk food in public schools. Parents support this ban 64 - 35 percent.

"Voters say almost 2-1 that junk food shouldn't be sold in schools. By a lesser margin, they'd also keep soda out of schools," Carroll said.

Voter Dissatisfaction

A total of 78 percent of voters are "very dissatisfied" or "somewhat dissatisfied" with the way things are going in New York State today, the highest dissatisfaction rate ever measured by a Quinnipiac University New York State survey.

Voters disapprove 68 - 21 percent of the job the State Legislature is doing, compared to the all-time highest disapproval of 72 - 17 percent December 16.

To clean house, almost everyone in the State Assembly, including their own Assembly member, should be voted out of office this November, voters say 48 - 35 percent. Democrats want to keep their Assembly member by a narrow 45 - 38 percent margin. Support for cleaning house is 53 - 28 percent among Republicans and 57 - 31 percent among independent voters.

Voters also want 50 - 39 percent to clean house in the State Senate, including voting out their own State Senator. This is the strongest anti-incumbent sentiment ever measure in New York. Democrats want to stick with their Senator 51 - 38 percent. Anti-incumbent feeling is 57 - 30 percent among Republicans and 59 - 32 percent among independent voters.

"New Yorkers are more dissatisfied than ever and more and more of them are calling for the broom to clean house in Albany," Carroll said.

From April 6 - 11, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,381 New York State registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 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.

20. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Approve              21%    11%    31%    16%    18%    24%    14%    38%
Disapprove           68     81     56     75     76     62     77     42
DK/NA                10      8     13      8      6     14      9     20
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Approve              27%    17%    19%    27%    16%
Disapprove           55     73     71     62     75
DK/NA                18     10     11     11      9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job? (*High Dis also 72% Aug 2009)
                                                     APPROVE......   DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Apr 14  Feb 3   Dec 16  Oct 21  Apr 4   Feb 3   Dec 16
                     2010    2010    2009    2009    2007    2010    2009*
Approve              21      16      17      19      34      16      17
Disapprove           68      71      72      67      43      71      72
DK/NA                10      13      11      14      23      13      11
 
 
22. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Sheldon Silver is handling his job as State Assembly Speaker?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Approve              25%    17%    35%    20%    24%    27%    21%    44%
Disapprove           40     49     30     46     51     30     45     20
DK/NA                35     34     35     33     25     43     34     36
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Approve              20%    20%    20%    34%    21%
Disapprove           27     41     39     35     49
DK/NA                53     38     40     32     30
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Sheldon Silver is handling his job as State Assembly Speaker?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 14  Apr 6   Feb 17  Jan 15  Dec 24  Dec 24  Apr 14
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2008    2008    2010
Approve              25      28      30      31      38      38      25
Disapprove           40      36      33      34      34      34      40
DK/NA                35      36      37      34      28      38      35
 
 
23. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New York State today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Very satisfied        2%     1%     2%     2%     2%     1%     1%     -
Smwht satisfied      20     12     27     17     15     24     15     43
Smwht dissatisfied   32     21     40     27     32     31     30     29
Very dissatisfied    46     65     30     52     51     41     53     22
DK/NA                 1      1      2      -      -      2      1      7
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Very satisfied        -      1%     1%     3%     -
Smwht satisfied      33     16     18     25     15
Smwht dissatisfied   27     27     27     36     32
Very dissatisfied    40     55     53     33     52
DK/NA                 -      -      -      3      -
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New York State today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                             VERY+SMWHT SAT
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 14  Feb 3   Dec 16  Oct 21  Aug 18  Feb 25  Apr 14
                     2010    2010    2009    2009    2009    1998    2010
Very satisfied        2       2       2       2       3      13       2
Smwht satisfied      20      24      22      28      25      60      20
Smwht dissatisfied   32      35      37      37      37      20      32
Very dissatisfied    46      39      38      31      34       7      46
DK/NA                 1       1       -       1       1       1       1
 
 
26. Which comes closer to your view about your State Senator - there are a lot of problems in Albany but your State Senator has done a good job and deserves to be reelected or almost everyone in the State Senate should be thrown out including your State Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Deserves reelection  39%    30%    51%    32%    32%    45%    36%    52%
Shld be thrown out   50     57     38     59     61     40     53     37
DK/NA                11     13     10      9      7     15     11     11
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Deserves reelection  49%    34%    36%    44%    35%
Shld be thrown out   40     56     54     44     51
DK/NA                11     10     10     12     13
 
TREND: Which comes closer to your view about your State Senator - there are a lot of problems in Albany but your State Senator has done a good job and deserves to be reelected or almost everyone in the State Senate should be thrown out including your State Senator?
                     Apr 14  Dec 16  Aug 18
                     2010    2009    2009
Deserves reelection  39      41      40
Shld be thrown out   50      46      49
DK/NA                11      13      11
 
 
27. Which comes closer to your view about your State Assembly member - there are a lot of problems in Albany but your State Assembly member has done a good job and deserves to be reelected or almost everyone in the State Assembly should be thrown out including your State Assembly member?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Deserves reelection  35%    28%    45%    31%    30%    39%    32%    50%
Shld be thrown out   48     53     38     57     59     38     51     27
DK/NA                17     19     18     12     10     23     17     23
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Deserves reelection  44%    35%    36%    40%    25%
Shld be thrown out   37     52     50     43     52
DK/NA                19     13     14     17     23
 
 
28. There is a proposal for an "obesity tax" or a "fat tax" on non-diet sugary soft drinks. Do you support or oppose such a measure?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Support              31%    13%    41%    35%    29%    33%    26%    43%
Oppose               66     85     55     63     69     63     72     51
DK/NA                 3      1      4      2      2      4      2      6
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Support              25%    26%    26%    41%    25%
Oppose               69     72     72     55     73
DK/NA                 6      2      2      4      2
 
                     HAVE CHILDREN..
                     <18YRS InPubSch      OvrWghtQ34
Support              32%    28%           32%
Oppose               66     69            61
DK/NA                 2      3             7
 
TREND: There is a proposal for an "obesity tax" or a "fat tax" on non-diet sugary soft drinks. Do you support or oppose such a measure?
                     Apr 14  Feb 4   Feb 18  Jan 15  Dec 24
                     2010    2010    2009    2009    2008
Support              31      40      31      32      37
Oppose               66      57      65      64      60
DK/NA                 3       2       3       3       3
 
 
29. Would you support or oppose a tax on sugary soft drinks if the money was used to fund health care?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Support              48%    26%    64%    47%    43%    53%    41%    73%
Oppose               49     71     35     50     56     44     56     26
DK/NA                 2      3      2      3      2      3      3      1
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Support              51%    39%    41%    59%    44%
Oppose               45     57     56     40     54
DK/NA                 3      3      3      1      2
 
                     HAVE CHILDREN..
                     <18YRS InPubSch      OvrWghtQ34
Support              46%    44%           51%
Oppose               53     56            46
DK/NA                 1      -             3
 
 
30. Do you think New York State should ban the sale of soda in public schools or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Yes                  59%    51%    65%    58%    51%    66%    57%    65%
No                   38     47     32     40     46     31     39     33
DK/NA                 3      2      4      3      4      3      4      3
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Yes                  55%    55%    55%    62%    61%
No                   42     42     42     35     34
DK/NA                 3      3      3      4      5
 
                     HAVE CHILDREN..
                     <18YRS InPubSch      OvrWghtQ34
Yes                  66%    69%           65%
No                   31     28            32
DK/NA                 3      4             3
 
 
31. Do you think New York State should ban the sale of junk food in public schools or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Yes                  65%    57%    70%    64%    60%    69%    63%    65%
No                   34     42     29     35     39     30     35     33
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      1      1      2      2
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Yes                  66%    61%    62%    68%    64%
No                   33     36     36     32     35
DK/NA                 1      2      2      1      1
 
                     HAVE CHILDREN..
                     <18YRS InPubSch      OvrWghtQ34
Yes                  64%    65%           71%
No                   35     33            28
DK/NA                 1      2             1
 
 
32. Thinking about the problem of obesity, that is people being seriously overweight, how serious is the problem of obesity among children and teens in New York State today? Very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious or not at all serious?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Very serious         48%    38%    57%    47%    43%    53%    42%    68%
Smwht serious        41     52     34     39     42     40     46     19
Not too serious       7      7      5      9     10      4      7      7
Not at all serious    1      1      1      2      2      1      1      2
DK/NA                 3      1      3      3      4      2      3      4
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Very serious         57%    43%    45%    54%    44%
Smwht serious        32     46     44     33     47
Not too serious       7      6      6      7      6
Not at all serious    1      1      1      2      1
DK/NA                 3      3      3      4      2
 
                     HAVE CHILDREN..
                     <18YRS InPubSch      OvrWghtQ34
Very serious         46%    44%           59%
Smwht serious        42     47            32
Not too serious       7      6             3
Not at all serious    -      -             1
DK/NA                 4      3             4
 
 
33. Some people say that the government should take action to fight childhood obesity. Others say that this is government meddling. Which comes closer to your point of view?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Gov shld take action 41%    25%    56%    36%    43%    39%    34%    60%
Gov is meddling      54     70     39     60     53     55     61     36
DK/NA                 5      5      6      4      5      6      4      4
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Gov shld take action 42%    33%    34%    51%    36%
Gov is meddling      56     63     62     43     58
DK/NA                 1      4      4      6      6
 
                     HAVE CHILDREN..
                     <18YRS InPubSch      OvrWghtQ34
Gov shld take action 42%    41%           51%
Gov is meddling      54     56            44
DK/NA                 4      4             5
 
 
34. Would you consider yourself seriously overweight?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Yes                  11%    10%    13%    11%    10%    12%    11%     8%
No                   88     88     86     89     89     87     88     92
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      1      1      1      -
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Yes                  11%    12%    12%    10%    11%
No                   87     86     86     89     89
DK/NA                 2      1      1      1      -
 
                     HAVE CHILDREN..
                     <18YRS InPubSch
Yes                  10%     8%
No                   89     90
DK/NA                 2      2
 
 
35. Do you have any children under the age of 18?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Yes                  32%    33%    33%    28%    31%    32%    29%    36%
No                   68     67     67     72     69     68     70     64
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Yes                  17%    33%    31%    32%    33%
No                   83     67     69     68     67
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -
 
 
36. (If have kids q35) Would you consider any of your children to be seriously overweight?
                     HAVE KIDS Q35.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
Yes                   4%     5%     6%     1%     3%     5%
No                   95     94     92     99     97     93
DK/NA                 1      1      2      -      -      2
 
                     HAVE CHILDREN..
                     <18YRS InPubSch
Yes                   4%     5%
No                   95     93
DK/NA                 1      1
 
 
37. Which would you say that you drink more often - diet soft drinks or regular, non-diet soft drinks?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Diet                 29%    34%    29%    30%    31%    28%    35%    21%
Regular              36     35     35     35     37     34     31     33
DK/NA                35     31     37     35     32     38     35     46
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Diet                 33%    29%    30%    27%    32%
Regular              35     39     39     36     29
DK/NA                32     31     31     37     39
 
                     HAVE CHILDREN..
                     <18YRS InPubSch      OvrWghtQ34
Diet                 25%    25%           43%
Regular              46     48            23
DK/NA                29     27            34
 
TREND: Which would you say that you drink more often - diet soft drinks or regular, non-diet soft drinks?
                     Apr 14  Feb 4   Feb 18  Jan 15  Dec 24
                     2010    2010    2009    2009    2008
Diet                 29      32      29      30       31
Regular              36      37      37      40       38
DK/NA                35      32      35      30       31