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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

May 14, 2014 at 5:23 PM

New poll shows big support for $15 minimum wage

A new poll of likely Seattle voters finds 74 percent support for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, six percentage points higher than in January.

The research firm EMC found that support was strong among men and women, across all age groups and among union and non-union households. The only group with a majority opposed to the proposal were Republicans.

The telephone survey of 550 likely voters was conducted May 4-8 and paid for by SEIU 775, which supported a similar measure in SeaTac. The poll had a 4.2 percent margin of error.

Respondents also were asked to rate several different plans for reaching the $15 goal. The plans were described generally, without any information about who was supporting them.

Mayor Ed Murray’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee’s recommendation to phase in the $15 minimum between 3 and 7 years and to temporarily count tips and health care benefits polled the highest, with 57 percent support. The $15 Now charter amendment that calls for a hike in 2015 for large businesses and a three-year phase-in for small businesses got 45 percent support.  A third proposal by the business-backed One Seattle that calls for an eight-year phase-in and a permanent credit for tips and benefits fared the poorest with just 41 percent support.

When asked whether they’d be more likely to support a $15 minimum wage or a $12.50 minimum wage, respondents chose the $15 option by a margin of almost 20 percentage points higher, 57 percent to 38 percent. The likely voters also supported phasing out tips and health care benefits or not counting them at all rather than crediting them permanently toward the minimum wage, by 64 percent to 23 percent.

Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: minimum wage, poll

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