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Poll: Ohio Voters Support Higher Minimum Wage

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016   

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Most voters in Ohio and other swing states support candidates who support raising the minimum wage, according to a new poll.

According to the poll, commissioned by the National Employment Law Project Action Fund, almost three-quarters of voters in the Buckeye State support raising the federal minimum wage, with more than 60 percent favoring a raise to $15 an hour over several years.

NELP general counsel Paul Sonn predicted that voters will take that viewpoint into the voting booth in November.

"Raising the minimum wage has bipartisan support among voters," he said, "and leading strategists such as Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster, have warned if you are fighting against a minimum-wage increase, you're fighting an uphill battle because most Americans, even most Republicans, support it."

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

More than 2 million Ohio workers are paid less than $15 an hour, including 1.6 million paid less than $12. Sonn said the experience in places that have raised the minimum wage shows that everyone benefits.

"When you raise the minimum wage," he said, "it boosts consumer spending, increases sales at restaurants and retail stores and the like, and ultimately increases hiring, as companies have to bring on more staff to meet that demand."

The poll focused on states with competitive Senate races, including former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's run against incumbent Republican Rob Portman. Strickland, a Democrat, has said he supports raising the federal wage to $12 an hour, up from $7.25. Portman's campaign has said the senator is in favor of raising the wage by indexing it to inflation.

The poll is online at publicpolicypolling.com.


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