POLITICS
04/13/2016 06:33 pm ET Updated May 10, 2017

Raising The Minimum Wage Is A Really, Really Popular Idea

Most Americans say a higher minimum wage would help workers and nearly half want to see a $15-an-hour federal minimum.

Americans are broadly supportive of proposals to raise the minimum wage, although they can't agree on how high it should go, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey shows.

Fifty-three percent of all Americans say that raising the minimum wage will help workers, while just a third see the idea as a negative.

Proposals to raise the minimum hourly wage to $10.10, $12 and $15 are all popular, but there's more backing for a smaller wage hike. Sixty-six percent of Americans support a $10.10 federal minimum wage; 59 percent support $12 and 48 percent support $15. 

Public support for a $15 minimum has remained roughly steady since last summer, although advocates have racked up legislative victories in New York and California, which both announced plans for a minimum wage hike.

Partisan agreement also falls apart for the more ambitious proposals. While majorities of both Republicans and Democrats support an increase to $10.10, Republicans largely oppose a higher raise.

Asked which proposal they most favor, a slim 30 percent plurality of Americans said they favored a $15 minimum wage, with 28 percent preferring a smaller rise to $10.10. Another 20 percent staked out a middle ground at $12, while 18 percent want to see the minimum wage unchanged or repealed altogether.

In the Democratic presidential primary, where support for a higher minimum wage is a given, the level of increase has become an ongoing point of contention. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has made a $15 federal minimum wage a main plank of his campaignwhile Hillary Clinton favors a $12 proposal.

Democrats are overwhelmingly supportive of both plans in the latest poll: 80 percent would like to see the minimum wage raised to $12 an hour, while 73 percent would like it raised to $15. When choosing from a range of options, 51 percent are most in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15, while 24 percent prefer $12, 18 percent favor $10.10 and less than 5 percent want to see it kept at $7.25 or abolished entirely. 

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted April 8-10 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. 

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls.You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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