Poll: wide support for workers’ issues


A new national poll shows wide support for raising the minimum wage and other worker-friendly issues. Vermont raised the minimum wage at the start of the year from $8.73 per hour to $9.15 with increases to follow. This despite local business owners whining about it: “I don’t like the state coming in and telling me what I should be doing in my business. It’s not good for business.”

Now a national  AP-GfK Poll measuring public support for minimum wage, maternity and sick leave (Obama mentioned these in his State of the Union message) has been released. Polling shows strong support for these measures.

And in case anyone wonders about the wisdom of continuing similar efforts, the poll showed that a majority think the President should be doing more to help the middle class and poor. And two thirds say the government is doing too much to help the wealthy.

The poll showed six in 10 Americans supporting raising the minimum wage. And strong overall backing for parental maternity and paid sick days also was shown.

The AP-GfK Poll shows, while only 2 in 10 are opposed. Six in 10 also favor requiring all employers to give paid time off to employees when they are sick, while two-thirds favor requiring all employers to give time off to employees after the birth of a child.

Support for both minimum wage, paid sick leave and maternity leave is strong among Democrats, with roughly half of all Republicans supporting those proposals. However, minimum-wage support drops off with moderate/liberal Republicans and sharply with conservatives.

But the minimum wage divides Republicans more closely, with only 4 in 10 in favor, 31 percent opposed and 27 percent not leaning either way. Half of moderate-to-liberal Republicans, but just a third of conservative Republicans, favor a minimum wage increase.

Democrats are trusted over Republicans, the poll found by a two to one margin to help the middle class more and by three to one to help the poor.


2 thoughts on “Poll: wide support for workers’ issues

  1. Yesterday, Walmart announced it will increase the minimum wage of 500,000 employees to $9. per hour.

    Of course there is method to this “madness.”  Last year there was some talk that Walmart’s success was stalling in part due to stagnant wages among its customer base.  

    So, for all the feel-good spin that accompanied this increase, Walmart insiders are undoubtedly regarding this as investment in plumping their own bottom line.

    Whatever…it’s a step in the right direction, and bound to nudge the rest of the discount sector into following suit.    

  2. … and Dems being more trusted: What happened in 2014? Nationally there was the Dems running scared from Obama issue (who subsequently has seen his approvals go back up to digits George W. Bush would be quite envious of). Here in Vermont the “affordability” message made it sound like Republicans were going put more money back in the pockets of working people. I’m not sure how that works given the only things I’ve seen so far out of the R’s in the VT legislature are tax breaks for wealthy people/companies like a repeal of the Cloud Tax.  

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