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.