Drinks and the number of sugar cubes contained in them are displayed at a… (Richard Drew / Associated…)
NEW YORK -- New Yorkers oppose Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to crack down on the sale of super-sized sugary sodas, but despite their displeasure with his latest effort to improve the city's health, they still seem to like the mayor, according to a new poll.
The results were announced Tuesday by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion and NY1, the local news station that helped conduct the survey -- the first formal poll of New Yorkers since Bloomberg sparked a nationwide controversy last week by saying he wanted to ban the sale of sugary sodas of 16 ounces or more.
The proposal is expected to be approved by city health officials, who are appointed by Bloomberg, and would affect most restaurants, delis, cinemas, sports venues, and even food trucks.
"Unfortunately for Mayor Bloomberg, New Yorkers find the glass to be half empty on his proposal to ban super-size drinks," said Marist poll director Lee M. Miringoff.
According to the poll, 53% of respondents said they think the ban is a bad idea; 42% said they approve of the plan, and the remainder said they aren't sure. Even among locals who want to lose weight, the soda ban got a thumbs-down: 51% of those respondents said they disagree with the idea.
There was one bright spot for Bloomberg in the poll results: Respondents in the borough of Manhattan favor the soda ban by 52%. In the city's other four boroughs -- the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island -- support for the ban ranged from 37% to 44%.
Bloomberg might also take comfort in the fact that New Yorkers appear to be more firmly behind him on this issue than Americans in general. The Marist-NY1 results differ from a recent national Rasmussen poll that showed more than 60% of respondents opposed the soda ban.
The Marist-NY1 survey also found that even if they oppose his anti-obesity, pro-health moves -- including banning smoking in parks, bars and on beaches; replacing traffic lanes with bike paths and pedestrian malls; and targeting fatty and salty foods -- many respondents said they still think Bloomberg is doing a decent job.
The three-term mayor has an approval rating of 45% -- 1 percentage point higher than in April -- and only 20% of respondents said they think he's doing a poor job as mayor. The rest ranked his performance as excellent, good, or fair.
The poll was conducted June 3 and involved 500 New York residents age 18 and older.