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Democrats rally around increasing the minimum wage

September 23, 2013, at 1:35 PM

Though regional differences are common in politics, Democrats from all parts of the country have embraced increasing the minimum wage. While conservative Democrats stay away from issues like marriage equality and gun control, liberal Democrats from California to conservative Democrats from Arkansas have found an issue that unites them.

Consider the facts:

California: The legislature, which now has a Democratic supermajority, passed and Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has said he will sign legislation that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016.

North Carolina: Democrats have found themselves in the minority in the legislature. They introduced legislation tying the state's minimum wage to the consumer price index, which Republicans promptly killed.

Democrats currently have a seven-point generic lead on which party voters would support in the state legislature.

South Dakota: The state's Democratic Party is circulating a petition to place a minimum wage increase on the November 2014 ballot —giving Democrats running for the state legislature a popular issue for their 2014 campaign.

Pennsylvania: Republicans control both houses of the legislature in Pennsylvania. However, Pennsylvania Democrats achieved a historic swing in the state Senate in the 2012 elections.

With Gov. Tom Corbett's (R) record low approval numbers (only 20 percent of voters in Pennsylvania approve of his job performance) Democrats are looking to continue their momentum heading into 2014, and two Democratic state senators have introduced legislation to raise Pennsylvania's minimum wage.

Arkansas: Arkansas will host both a high-profile U.S. Senate race and Democrats in the legislature will be running hard to recapture the majorities they lost in 2012.

Even though President Obama only received 37 percent of the vote in Arkansas in 2012, Democratic policies still remain popular. A July poll showed that 69 percent of Arkansans would support a 2014 constitutional amendment raising the state's minimum wage.

This polling may have played a hand in Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) sending out a Labor Day release both highlighting his consistent support for raising the federal minimum wage and his likely opponent's consistent opposition.

It was Will Rogers who said famously, "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." However, when it comes to raising the minimum wage, it is a popular issue that Democrats from all corners of the country are actively embracing.

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