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Most Americans Back Minimum Wage Increase, With Two Notable Exceptions
MacKenzie Babb,

President Obama made headlines earlier this week by announcing his support for the Harkin-Miller bill, which would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. PRRI’s recently released 2013 American Values Survey explored public opinion on increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.00 an hour, finding that more than 7-in-10 (71 percent) Americans support raising the minimum wage while roughly 1-in-4 (24 percent) oppose.

Increasing the minimum wage receives strong support across political groups, with majorities of Democrats (89 percent), independents (68 percent) and Republicans (57 percent) in favor of giving minimum-wage workers a raise. But among important conservative constituencies, there is a major divide in support for a minimum wage hike. While more than 6-in-10 (61 percent) white evangelical Protestants favor increasing the minimum wage to $10.00 an hour, nearly as many members of the Tea Party (57 percent) and libertarians (65 percent) are opposed.

A minimum wage increase enjoys strong support across the religious spectrum with majorities of all religious groups in favor of an increase, including an overwhelming share of black Protestants (89 percent) as well as strong majorities of Catholics (78 percent), the religiously unaffiliated (77 percent) and white mainline Protestants (69 percent).

For more on where libertarians, members of the Tea Party, and white evangelical Protestants fall on other important economic questions, be sure to check out our 2013 American Values Survey: In Search of Libertarians in America.