Poll: 60 Percent of Black New Yorkers Oppose Bloomberg’s Soda Ban

by Katherine Howell

According to a Quinnipiac poll released today, New Yorkers are divided by race and by borough in their attitudes toward Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on sodas larger than 16 ounces that’s set to take effect on March 12. Overall, while 51 percent of New York City residents oppose the ban, only 48 percent of whites are against it, compared with 60 percent of blacks (50 percent of Hispanics support it).

Manhattanites favor the policy by 57 percent to 39 percent, and Brooklyn residents are evenly divided, but solid majorities are opposed in the Bronx (60 percent), Queens (56 percent), and Staten Island (67 percent).

The New York chapter of the NAACP took a lot of flak from Bloomberg and some media outlets for filing an amicus brief in January in support of a lawsuit challenging the ban. The organization maintained that the black community would be disparately impacted by it because it “disproportionately affects freedom of choice in low-income communities” whose residents consume more soda. The brief also argued that minority-owned businesses would suffer, because they were more likely to be the type of food-service establishments subject to the ban. (Large chain convenience stores and supermarkets are regulated by the state rather than the city, and so are exempt.) Judging by this poll, it seems the NAACP’s position aligns with that of a majority of black New Yorkers.

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