We already knew that the general concept of a minimum wage increase was popular with Minnesota, with 70 percent saying they support an increase without mentioning a number. But new polling shows that a substantive increase – one that would give Minnesota one of the country’s highest minimum wages – also has a majority behind it.
Public Policy Polling, which independent studies have shown to be one of the most accurate pollsters in the country, asked Minnesotans about minimum wage along with a battery of other issues. The question “Would you support or oppose raising the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour?” received 54 percent supporting, 37 percent opposing, and 10 percent undecided.
To put that in perspective, that large minimum wage increase was more popular with those surveyed than Gov. Dayton (49 percent approval), DFL legislators (36 percent), Republican legislators (23 percent), and using money from the cigarette tax to pay for the new Vikings stadium (35 percent).
In fact, the only question that unified Minnesotans more than raising the minimum wage was allowing liquor sales on Sunday (62 percent).
The increase also receives support from:
- 58 percent of self-identified moderates.
- 24 percent of those identifying as “very conservative.”
- 59 percent of women.
- 45 percent of independents.
- 29 percent of Republicans.
- 61 percent of 18 to 29 year-olds and 51 percent of those older than 65.
The Minnesota House passed a bill earlier this month raising the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2015 and indexing it to inflation, but the bill did not receive a full vote in the Senate before the end of session. The Senate passed its own version, which raised the wage to a meager $7.75 and ignored the question of inflation.
These numbers show what many Working America members already know: that fighting to put more money in the pockets of workers has support across the ideological and partisan spectrum, and that pursuing policies that raise wages can only help, not hurt, an elected official’s standing with the public.
The issue of raising the minimum wage can next be brought up in Minnesota in February 2014.