STUMP » Articles » Cook County Soda Tax: Look Who's Come to Save the Day! » 17 August 2017, 13:57

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Cook County Soda Tax: Look Who's Come to Save the Day!  


17 August 2017, 13:57

Wait for it… wait for it…. let’s see how the damsel is in distress first.

She can’t say she wasn’t warned:

Poll shows trouble for Preckwinkle amid pop tax furor

The fizz has gone out of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s job-performance rating as the controversy over her soda-pop tax continues to rage, a new poll suggests.

According to a just-released We Ask America survey, a whopping 68 percent of registered county voters who were questioned say they disapprove of how Preckwinkle is handling her job. Just 21 percent give her performance a thumbs-up, with 11 percent undecided.

The 902 voters were surveyed via both automated and operator-initiated phone calls. The results were even worse when they were asked if they’re inclined to support her for re-election “no matter who is running against her.” Just over three quarters, 75 percent, said they probably would not vote for her, with just 16 percent saying they would and the remainder undecided.

Asked how the fact that Preckwinkle “cast the deciding vote that created the tax” would affect their vote, 84.5 percent of those surveyed indicated it would make them less likely to cast a ballot in her favor, with just 10 percent saying it would make them more likely to vote to re-elect her.

Another We Ask America survey earlier this month found that 87 percent of those polled said they disagree with the tax itself.

Now, a few codicils here.

We Ask America is a subsidiary of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, which is a close political ally of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, the main opponent of the soda tax. Those surveyed were not read a script including Preckwinkle’s side of things—she asserts the levy was crucial to keep the county’s health care and criminal-justice systems running—and asking voters in the abstract these days about almost any politician is likely to draw a middling response.

That having been said, We Ask America has been increasingly active in recent political cycles and has a decent track record. Beyond that, the group underlines that it didn’t ask those surveyed about the tax specifically until after inquiring about her job performance and re-election.
Disapproval was highest—74 percent—among those aged 35 to 44 and lowest—59 percent—among those aged 45-54.

Interesting split by age, given those two groups are close in age. Maybe it’s that the older group doesn’t drink soda themselves and are not buying it for kids. So they don’t care.


Here’s the press release for the survey, and here are results. Oh wait, that’s the August 7 poll.

Here’s the most recent press release – survey from Aug 15-16, and here are those results.

From that press release:


Toni Preckwinkle suffers a significantly lower job-approval rating than Donald Trump: Having only 21 percent of likely voters approving of her general performance is likely to generate serious competition for her next year in her bid for re-election.

JEEZ, you guys, be a little more gentle next time.


So the surveys are simple enough to read, but I decided to turn a few of the cross-tabs into graphs. The two surveys were each 3 questions, the first focusing on the soda tax specifically, the second on Preckwinkle.

Let me do a few of the approve/disapprove/no opinion crosstabs on Preckwinkle:

By age:

by race/ethnicity:

Btw, I shouldn’t put in +/- 3.3% — that’s just for the aggregate results. These subgroups are smaller, so the way they do confidence intervals means the uncertainty is greater. But still… uh…. yeah.

They weren’t kidding about that Donald Trump thing, were they?

Here are the ones where they say they’re more/less likely to re-elect Preckwinkle because of the soda tax:

Hmmm. Wait, let’s not jump to any conclusions quite yet…

Here’s the approve/disapprove of the soda tax:

Okay, maybe this is a broadly unpopular tax. There’s more in the original surveys, but I think we can see a pattern at this point.


What’s this? A hero riding in from New York City?

SNEED EXCLUSIVE: Bloomberg throws support behind Cook County soda tax

Here comes the cavalry!

Sneed has learned former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is unloading his Super PAC big-time to back Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s soda tax.

The billionaire Bloomberg is one of the few who has the resources and political savvy to fight back and he is apparently rolling his plan into Illinois, starting tomorrow, to do just that.

Sneed has learned that a seven-figure broadcast and radio buy was made Thursday and Bloomberg plans to be “on the ground” driving that message and supporting those who support the tax for as long as it takes,” according to a top Sneed source.

What I find so funny about this is that Bloomberg couldn’t get a soda tax passed in NY, when he was New York City mayor. Oh, he’s helped get soda taxes passed. But it doesn’t seem any of these taxes are that popular. (Yeah, yeah, I understand most taxes are unpopular… stick with me for a moment.)

You think he’s more popular now? He’s popular with New Yorkers because he’s not as big a fuck-up as the current mayor. He was a very good city manager. De Blasio plain sucks.

But if he came back to NYC, you think he could sell a soda tax?

Tell you right now the answer is no. He couldn’t do it in 2010 or 2012, he can’t do it now.

But what’s even funnier is that Bloomberg is anti-gun, and his various big buxx drops on getting gun control laws passed has been similarly full of fail. (I’m an NRA Lifetime member, and Bloomberg is definitely popular with NRA fundraisers… he’s a big help!) He’s good at funnelling campaign money to Democrats in “safe” seats. Way to help the poor toiling political consultants and ad directors!

If I were the suspicious type, I’d think Bloomberg was really on the side of the NRA and Big Soda.

This is the kind of income redistribution from the wealthy I approve: them wasting their money on stupid shit. Even stupid-shit-providers need jobs!


And away we go….

Cook County says that. Do the feds say that?

I’m really looking forward to when Preckwinkle gets really desperate and starts accusing people of wanting children to die because they think the soda tax is idiotic.

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