Minimum Wage Opinion Barometer

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

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.