Pennsylvanians Divided by Soda

Pennsylvanians seem divided by geography on a key debate.  No, not the state budget, or national health care (well, those too), but on whether it should be called ‘Soda’, or ‘Pop’. 

As detailed on the site, Western Pennsylvania, along with most of the midwestern US, overwhelming uses the word ‘Pop’.  Eastern PA – along with the Northeast and California – predominantly says ‘Soda.’   Much of the southern US says ‘Coke’ even for non-Coca-Cola products. (Full disclosure, I am a ‘Pop’ man, though I’ve found myself using ‘Soda’ more often, given my current environment).

While this is something that is simply fascinating to me as a number cruncher – it does have policy implications.  For instance, should the proposed tax to help fund health care be called a “Soda Tax” or a “Pop Tax”?

Furthermore, do the cultural differences that result in word use for soda pop correlate to differences on policy preferences, ideology, or partisanship?