05/14/2012 10:33 am ET

New York Minimum Wage Increase Supported By Majority Of New Yorkers In New Poll

A new poll conducted by Siena College is revealing big wins for Democrats with more than three-quarters of New Yorkers supporting a minimum wage hike to increase wages from $7.25 to $8.50.

Siena Research Institute's Steven Greenberg explains the strong endorsement for the increase resonating across the political spectrum with even three-quarters of independents and 58 percent of Republicans supporting the Democratic proposal.

"About two-thirds of voters have heard or read a great deal or some about the issue," Greenberg said, "and the vast majority would like to see the Legislature pass the minimum wage increase before session ends next month."

While some critics say any legislation seeking to increase the minimum wage would stunt the state's economy, bill sponsor Senator Jeffrey Klein has said a raise would instead help stimulate the economy with the creation of nearly 5,300 full-time equivalent jobs.

Klein also believes a hike would "see an infusion of $600 million in economic activity."

Less surprisingly, the poll also finds President Obama to be leading presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney by 20 points throughout the state.

In addition, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is trumping three potential Republican candidates vying for her senatorial seat including Congressman Bob Turner who recently announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination opposing Gillibrand in November.

Monday's results reveal New Yorkers unfavorably perceiving both Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party which have both been criticized for creating harsh divisions amongst moderates.