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Voters Overwhelmingly Support A $9 Minimum Wage

By Alan Pyke on November 12, 2013 at 8:52 am

"Voters Overwhelmingly Support A $9 Minimum Wage"

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CREDIT: Wisconsin Jobs Now flickr account

Three out of four Americans would vote for a $9 minimum wage if it were on the ballot, according to a Gallup poll released Monday. Overall support is up by 5 percentage points from March.

Gallup’s survey found 76 percent of Americans would vote yes on a referendum raising the minimum wage up from $7.25 to $9 per hour. Just under 70 percent support tying minimum wage increases to inflation. A full 58 percent of self-identified Republicans support raising the wage to $9, but they oppose automatic increases to keep pace with inflation by a 56-43 margin.

The new numbers come a week after workers won minimum wage victories in New Jersey and the Washington town that hosts the Seattle-Tacoma airport. Most of the legislative action on wages this year has come at the state and local level as congressional and White House efforts to promote federal action have stalled thanks to Republican opposition.

They also follow months of activism, walkouts, and strikes by low-wage retail and food service workers around the country. Taxpayers end up spending a quarter-trillion dollars every year on public programs for working families who cannot survive on the poverty wages provided by their full-time jobs.

Other surveys have indicated similar majorities favor pushing the minimum wage up above $9 per hour. Another recent poll found 80 percent support for an even higher wage floor of $10.10 — the value required to restore the purchasing power of the minimum wage to what it was in the late 1960s. President Obama has raised his ambitions in recent days, backing a $10 minimum wage after previously setting his sights on a $9 hourly minimum.

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