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Minimum Wage Key Issue for PA Voters

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The poll says 62 percent of Pennsylvania voters support raising the federal minimum wage to $15. (Make the Road PA)
The poll says 62 percent of Pennsylvania voters support raising the federal minimum wage to $15. (Make the Road PA)
 By Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA - Producer, Contact
September 6, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Most voters in Pennsylvania and other swing states support candidates who support raising the minimum wage, according to a new poll.

The survey, conducted by Public Policy Polling, says almost 75 percent of voters in the Commonwealth support raising the federal minimum wage, with more than 60 percent favoring a raise to $15 an hour over several years.

And according to Adanjesus Marin, director of the immigrants rights group Make the Road Action in Pennsylvania, voters will take that viewpoint into the voting booth in November.

"Fifty-seven percent of voters are likely to not vote for a candidate who is trying to block overtime coverage for salaried workers,” Marin says. “It's just line after line of support for raising the standard of living for Pennsylvania workers."

The poll found similar results in six other battleground states, including Ohio, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Almost 2.3 million Pennsylvania workers are paid less than $15 an hour, including 1.5 million paid less than $12 dollars.

Marin says the experience in places that have raised the minimum wage shows that everyone benefits.

"The fact is that, in order for an economy to grow, people have to have money to spend,” he stresses. “And as long as millions of people are living at poverty wages, they can't spend the money that will make our economy work better."

In the U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent Pat Toomey has voted against any minimum wage increase, while Democratic challenger Katie McGinty supports raising it.

Marin says Make the Road will be raising voter awareness through Election Day and beyond.

"We're going to be doing a lot of actions that highlight the difference between the candidates,” he states. “And I think we're going to see some very clear results that show that Pennsylvanians understand who's on their side and they're going to take action based on that."

The poll shows McGinty leading Toomey by a margin of 46 to 40 percent.



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