Voters in key 2014 battleground states made it clear in a new poll conducted by Hart Research Associates that raising wages, higher living standards and fair treatment are among their top priorities, and they want political leaders to do more on these issues. Nearly 60% of the surveyed voters from Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are unhappy with their state's economy. More than 90% said they are only keeping even economically or falling behind. More than 70% say that raising wages would be good for their state, despite claims that raising wages would increase prices or cost jobs. Gubernatorial candidates who say they want to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour would be more likely to be voted for by 61% of the voters surveyed, compared to only 23% who would be less likely to vote for such a candidate.
“Voters are way ahead of politicians on the issue of raising wages,” says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “From the minimum wage to paid sick leave to wage theft, voters across America are elevating basic paycheck issues to a new national prominence. Politicians who ignore the surging interest in raising wages do so at their own peril.”
AFT President Randi Weingarten explains why the issue is so important to voters: "You can't actually have a successful life if you don't have a wage that feeds your family and allows your kids to go to college."
The AFL-CIO Executive Council is making raising wages a centerpiece of their work and incorporating the issue into all aspects of their legislative and policy priorities in 2014, from politics to immigration to organizing.