Polls Show Strong Support for $15 New York State Minimum Wage, Higher Federal Minimum in Key 2016 States

Two recently released opinion polls showed New York State voters overwhelmingly support the push by Governor Andrew Cuomo to raise the minimum wage statewide to $15 by 2021. A separate poll showed strong support for raising the federal minimum wage – currently stuck at $7.25 per hour – with clear majorities among likely Republican voters in early 2016 primary states and even stronger support across party lines in key general election swing states.

Taken together, the polls indicate growing public backing for raising minimum wages, increasing support for higher-dollar-amount minimum wages, and a greater likelihood that a candidate’s stance on raising the minimum wage could affect the outcome of elections.

In New York, a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University showed voters favoring the $15 statewide minimum wage proposal by a 68 to 35 margin.

“Support is 85-13 percent among Democrats, 59-38 percent among independent voters, 77-21 percent among New York City voters and 61-36 percent among suburban voters.”

A Siena College poll of New York voters showed similar results, with support for the $15 minimum wage statewide at a 59-38 margin.

Surveys of likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa, likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire, and likely general election voters in seven key swing states conducted by Oxfam America and McLaughlin & Associates showed “the political benefits for candidates that support an increase in the federal minimum wage.” Those surveys showed 58 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa and 59 percent of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire favoring at least one proposal (among $9, $10, $12 or $15) to raise the federal minimum wage. Support was even greater among likely general election voters in the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia.

Increasing the federal minimum wage is clearly a winning issue in general election swing states. Eighty-seven percent of general election voters support at least one proposal for a federal minimum wage increase. The big majorities cut across party lines: Republicans (77%), Democratic (97%) and Independent (87%). Proposals for minimum wage increases to $9, $10, $12 and $15, all received support of 50% or higher among the voters in the swing states.”

“Six years since the last increase in the federal minimum wage, American families are hurting.  With tens of millions voters feeling the impact of wage stagnation, it makes political, economic and moral sense for all 2016 candidates to support a reasonable increase in the minimum wage,” said Jeffrey Buchanan, senior domestic policy advisor at Oxfam America, in announcing the poll results.


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