With polls showing 65 percent in favor of raising minimum wage in N.J., measure backers focus on voter turnout
They may be clear on the issue: New Jersey voters say they overwhelmingly support raising the minimum wage in the state by a two-thirds margin—but will those voters show up to the polls on the right day?
There are two statewide election days coming up: The Senator Special Election on October 16 to select a successor for the U.S. Senate seat precipitated by the death of longtime Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Then there’s the General Election on November 5—when New Jersey voters get to cast a ballot on a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage and allow for cost of living increases.
Backers of the Question 2, the raise the minimum wage amendment, want to make sure voters know that November 5 is the date they need to pencil down or plug into their smart phones.
An estimated 400,000 workers in New Jersey make the minimum wage. Working Families United for New Jersey recently launched a slick website which makes the argument that wages for New Jersey’s lowest earners should go up $1.00 per hour and allow for cost of living increases.
As part of the launch, Working Families United for New Jersey produced several videos that features a New Jersey woman who is trying to live on minimum wage. They also clearly remind people when election day for this measure is so there’s no confusion.
(Watch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQdlxpSX_-k)
According to the most recent Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll, 65% of registered voters say they will vote in favor of this measure. Just 12% say they will vote against it. Another 22% are undecided.
A coalition of business groups has been running ads to defeat the measure, saying that the Question 2 ballot measure will actually hurt low-wage earners because it will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.
But the poll shows that New Jersey voters aren’t buying the argument; in fact they disagree with the view by a large two-thirds (67%) majority. Only 23% of voters side with the business community that raising the minimum wage will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.
“The minimum wage amendment is set to pass by a substantial margin. New Jersey voters
simply do not accept the business community’s prediction of dire consequences,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
The Question 2 ballot measure would raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 per hour and allow for cost of living increase adjustments.