Political Animal


February 21, 2013 5:35 PM Minimum Wage Opinion Barometer

By Ed Kilgore

Want to know why the president proposed a minimum wage hike in his State of the Union Address, other than the fact that it’s long overdue? Check out these numbers from Pew:

By a wide margin (71% to 26%), the public favors increasing the minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 per hour to $9.00 an hour. But while large majorities of Democrats (87%) and independents (68%) favor raising the minimum wage, Republicans are evenly divided (50% favor, 47% oppose).
Among all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, those who agree with the Tea Party oppose the proposed minimum wage hike by two-to-one (64% to 32%).

You know which segment of the electorate dictates congressional Republican positions, right? It’s that segment that opposes minimum wage hikes 2 to 1, a position that voters as a whole reject by nearly 3 to 1.

The President should be happy to keep talking about this subject all day long.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Slartybartfast on February 21, 2013 6:23 PM:

    Ok. What if we proposed a minimum wage that was equal to (in modern dollars) the original minimum wage?

  • mad_nVT on February 21, 2013 7:12 PM:

    Why so popular? Isn't that a change from the past?

    Could be that so many people have children and other family members that simply can't break out of the minimum wage cycle. Plus all of the people who themselves can't get out of the trap.

    Your modern economy . . . . . . where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and more numerous.

  • jefft452 on February 21, 2013 7:49 PM:

    “Isn't that a change from the past?”

    I don’t think it is
    Paying people who work has never been an unpopular idea in this country

  • jkl; on February 21, 2013 8:09 PM:

    Republicans will lose yet again with challenging this hike to the minimum wage. It remains a low wage!

    Millionaire congressmen, fed by those who lobby them.

    Out ot touch, unable/unwilling to relate to the working person's meager, minimum hourly rate. Given the price of gas, food, housing, insurances, care of children, and other endless bills.

    Republicans make me sick, with their taxpaper-paid staff, freebies, per diems, salaries, pensions, healthcare, transportation subsidies, office funds, etc.

    Look how Rand Ayn Paul was able to return half a million back in unused office/staffing funds. (Which strikes me as grandstanding, duplicitous or incompetence in hiring competent staff. Seems kind of rogue.

    Aren't we all just so tired of hearing about Republicans.... What a scam they run.
    Did the House of Representatives work even 15 days in the past two months?
    Really stealing their taxpayer salaries as they drink at the public trough.

  • anonymoose on February 21, 2013 8:32 PM:

    I noticed that the poll also showed that the only 22% of people consider themselves republicans (a record low).

    Also noticed that 26% are opposed to the increase in minimum wage.

    With the decrease in self-identified republicans....we may need to adjust down the "crazification factor" down from 27% to 26%.

  • paul on February 22, 2013 8:52 AM:

    If it weren't for all the Villagers, this -- and all the other issues on which the Tea Party opposes decent treatment for everyday people -- would be a huge opportunity for democrats at the national and regional levels. Imagine, for a moment, if the big-money democratic organizations did nothing from now till november 2014 but detail how particular named republicans were screwing over their constituents.

  • Rugosa on February 22, 2013 9:23 AM:

    This is what gets me about the right wing - they don't want a social safety net for people who don't make much money, but they don't want working people to make enough money for a decent life, either. It's almost as if they want people to suffer just for the hell of it.

  • HMDK on February 22, 2013 12:35 PM:

    "Paying people who work has never been an unpopular idea in this country"

    It's always been unpopular with the people doing the paying.

  • jefft452 on February 22, 2013 9:56 PM:

    "It's always been unpopular with the people doing the paying."

    sure, but they are a minority