A November Gallup poll found that 76% of Americans would vote to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour if the issue were presented on a ballot, a raise of $1.75 from the current floor. Despite that number being driven by the support of Democrats, 91% of who reported support for the measure, more than half of Republicans surveyed also stated they would vote in favor of the measure.
Melissa Harris-Perry guest host Joy Reid and her Sunday panel questioned whether raising the minimum wage constitutes a “can’t lose” topic for Democrats. Reid pointed out the difficulty of effectively running against a minimum wage raise, given its correlation with Americans’ capacity to achieve the American dream–or merely to afford basic needs.
The issue may gain even more support with the end of extended federal unemployment benefits on Saturday. Unemployed individuals who have been searching for a decent paying job may now be more likely to take one, or several, minimum wage jobs to make ends meet without those benefits rather than holding out for a higher-paying job that utilizes their expertise.