Most voters agree the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour isn't enough to live on, but are narrowly divided over whether raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour will be good for the national economy, a new poll reports.
According to the Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey
, 54 percent of likely voters favor raising the minimum wage, 34 percent are opposed and 12 percent aren't sure. More people — 44 percent — believe a minimum wage hike will help the economy than the 36 percent who think it will hurt it.
The poll found government employees are more supportive of raising the wage than entrepreneurs and people working for private companies are. Fifty-one percent of government workers said the raise will help the economy, but only 33 percent of entrepreneurs and 36 percent of private industry workers think it will help.
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However, a mere 15 percent of voters believe the minimum wage is enough to live on, while 72 percent said it is not a livable wage, and 14 percent aren’t sure.
Voters also agree with President Barack Obama's proposal, outlined in last week’s State of the Union Address, to tie hourly minimum wage to inflation, so the rate will rise along with the cost of living. Fifty-seven percent agreed with tying the wages to cost of living increases, while 32 percent opposed.
Republicans opposed both raising the minimum wage and linking it to the cost of living, while Democrats support wage hikes, with 71 percent of Democrats thinking a wage hike will help the economy, as compared to 63 percent who think it will hurt.
Women and younger voters are stronger supporters of the idea than men and voters older than 40. Meanwhile, blacks and other minority voters are in favor of the raises, while white voters are evenly divided.
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