Minimum Wage Hike May be a Challenge

April 27, 2015

A proposal to increase Oregon’s minimum wage to $12 an hour is supported by 55% and opposed by 41% of voters statewide.  Just 4% have no opinion on the issue.  While on the surface 55% support may appear promising for supporters, ballot measure campaign observers would not consider passage a sure thing.  “Historically speaking, ballot measures that fail to reach 60% in early polling typically end up losing on Election Day,” says Bob Moore, President of national polling firm Moore Information.

This comes after an OPB statewide poll conducted April 13-17 showing voters oppose a $15 minimum wage by a margin of 57-39%.

The lines of support and opposition for the $12 per hour minimum wage proposal are drawn largely along party lines – Democrats are widely enthusiastic about raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour (75% support, 21% oppose), but Republicans are opposed (35% support, 62% oppose).  Among the Non-affiliated/Independent voter segment, this proposal is favored by a narrow majority (53-43%).

There are also notable differences of opinion by gender and age.  Voters age 18-54 (both men and women) favor the $12/hour minimum wage proposal 53-45%, but older men are divided.  Older women on the other hand, are widely in favor of a $12 minimum wage.  Regionally, as would be expected, the highest margins in support of the minimum wage increase are found in Multnomah County, where roughly two-in-three voters are in favor (66-28%).  There is narrower support in Clackamas and Washington Counties (58-39%) and the Willamette Valley (53-42%).   Outside the metro area and Willamette Valley, however, there is majority opposition (44-53%).

Methodology: Interviews were conducted April 20, 2015 by Moore Information, Inc. among 500 registered voters in Oregon using IVR telephone survey methodology.  The potential sampling error is plus or minus 4% at the 95% confidence level.



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