Wage Polling – Highlights

Why Run on Wages

Polling – Highlights

Most voters support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour

A 2018 poll from The Hill/Harris X shows 55% of Americans support raising the wage to $15 an hour. 27% more say it should be at least increased. It’s cut and dry – a large majority of voters understand wages at the bottom are too low, and they want Washington to step up and change things.

Many voters feel strongly about it

A 2019 poll from the Pew research center shows 41% (a plurality) of American adults feel “strongly” about the need to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. 26% more responded that they feel “somewhat strongly.” This isn’t something voters barely care about. It’s a priority.

Voters from battleground districts are even more supportive

Let’s dispel the notion voters from swing districts are hesitant on this issue –they’re not. This is a bipartisan issue with wide geographic support. A Hart Research survey from 2019 found 65% of battleground voters want to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. 

In fact, more voters (36%) “strongly favor” $15-an-hour than the entire group that opposes raising the wage (32%) with any level of enthusiasm. Campaigning on a living wage will help win the trust of these important voters. On the flip side, ignoring the reality that people haven’t seen wage increases for over a decade could alienate many potential supporters.

Even many small businesses want to Raise the Wage

Don’t listen to opponents of the minimum wage when they claim that raising the wage will be bad for small businesses. Instead, listen to the small business owners themselves. A national Lend EDU survey of 500 small business owners found 67.6% favor raising the wage versus 17% that don’t. This is up from already high 57% support found in a 2014 survey.

These business owners understand the economics of their businesses, and that’s why they support raising the wage. When consumers have more money in their pocket, they tend to spend more. More consumer spending means more business for small businesses, which leaves them better off even if they have to spend slightly more on wages.

Support is strong in a key swing state

A poll found that nearly two thirds (62%) of Pennsylvania voters support a $15-an-hour minimum wage. PA is about as swing-state as they come: it has big cities, suburbs, large rural areas, and Democrats and Republicans have been battling over it for years. This poll isn’t just a great sign for the Fight for 15 Movement, it’s more proof supporting that movement has significant upside for left-of-center candidates.

Even the best anti-minimum wage arguments fall flat

The National Restaurant Association, funded by a group of big chain corporations who don’t want to give their workers a raise, tried to do polling to prove raising the wage wasn’t popular. They hired notorious Republican pollster Frank Luntz to cook the data and test the messaging that raising the wage would lead to more expensive food, but the whole thing backfired when their extensive poll found 71% still support raising the wage to at least $10 even if it means they’ll have to pay more. This botched result proves a living wage has clear and durable support.

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