Posted March 28, 2019
Washington, D.C.—Recent polling confirms the growing popularity of the Raise the Wage Act of 2019, federal legislation that would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024.
Polling conducted by Hart Research Associates surveyed 800 likely 2020 voters in the 57 “battleground” congressional districts won by Democrats in 2018 by 15 percentage points or less. When asked whether or not they support gradually raising the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024, two in three (65 percent) of those surveyed favored the proposal.
Support was widespread across all districts, regions, and demographic groups, with 57 percent of men, 72 percent of women, 63 percent of white voters, and 69 percent of non-white voters favoring the $15 by 2024 proposal. The share of respondents strongly in favor of this proposal (36 percent) exceeded the total opposition to the proposal (32 percent opposed, with 17 percent strongly opposed). The survey was commissioned by the National Employment Law Project.
“The economic benefits of the Raise the Wage Act are well documented. This polling proves that this bill is both good policy and good politics. It’s now up to members of Congress to enact the clear will of their constituents, rather than continuing to cater to the interests of corporate America,” said Christine Owens, NELP’s executive director.
By a 16-point margin, battleground voters also indicated they would more likely vote for a member of Congress who supported the Raise the Wage Act than one who voted against it. Seventy-four percent agreed that the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is too low, and by a 22-point margin, respondents believe the legislation will have a favorable impact on their community. And across each of the 57 congressional districts polled, support for a $15 federal minimum wage exceeded 60 percent.
The poll is the latest evidence of growing mainstream support for a $15 minimum wage. This week, McDonald’s announced that it would no longer lobby against raising the minimum wage. Historically, the restaurant industry has led opposition to raising the minimum wage. Last year, Amazon adopted a $15 minimum wage and announced that it would lobby for minimum wage increases.
Congresswoman Susan Wild of Pennsylvania’s 7th district said, “Frankly, raising the minimum wage is long overdue. It has been nearly a decade since we raised the federal minimum wage—an issue that was once inherently bipartisan and uncontroversial. This effort has broad support—from voters of every political party to some of America’s largest corporations who once opposed raising the minimum wage—because a responsible, gradual increase is good for workers, it’s good for businesses, and it’s good for our economy. Raising the minimum wage is a commitment to giving our workers a chance to lift themselves and their families out of poverty, to fight record income and wealth inequality across our country, and to get to work building an economy that delivers for all Americans.”
“Not only would raising the minimum wage benefit millions of the hardest-working people in America, it makes smart economic sense,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton of Virginia’s 10th district. “Raising the minimum wage would lead to less turnover, better morale, and more productive employees. It’s good for business and good for workers, and that’s why this policy receives strong bipartisan support in some of the toughest districts in America.”