A recent Elway Poll shows that 54 percent of statewide voters believe that a $15/hour minimum wage would hurt, rather than help, the economy. Considering the recent backlash from communities already feeling the pressure of the $15/hour minimum wage, it is not surprising that only a 46 percent plurality of survey respondents in Seattle believed that the minimum wage increase would help the economy.
This response shows a considerable shift in perspective from earlier this year, before the city passed the ordinance demanding that employers gradually increase the minimum wage. In February of this year, a poll conducted by EMC Research found that 68% of voters were in favor of the $15/hour wage base. The decline in popularity comes less than a month after several small businesses in the Seattle area banded together to protest the unprecedented and financially destructive wage increase.
Additionally, only 52% of Seattle area voters believe that cities should be able to set their own minimum wage, defending what the city did in May to raise the minimum wage. Eastern Washington respondents also showed a desire to support local control over the minimum wage and, as the Publicola article reporting on the survey suggests, that could be because voters in Eastern Washington are wary of the rest of Washington dictating the success—or failure—of their local economies.
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