Democrats Think Minimum Wage Is Their 2014 Issue

In a year where Congress figures to do very little
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2013 9:22 AM CST

(Newser) – Democrats think they've found the issue that will carry them to victory in 2014: the minimum wage. Polls show broad support among both Republican and Democratic voters for hiking the $7.25 federal rate, the New York Times reports, but congressional Republicans have come out against it. "It puts Republicans on the wrong side of an important value issue," says one senior Obama adviser. Democrats think the issue will boost turnout among crucial minority and young voters, who often skip midterms.

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To that end, Democrats will push minimum wage ballot initiatives in challenging states like Arkansas, Alaska, and South Dakota, even though the Democratic incumbents in some of those states aren't currently backing wage hikes. The strategy comes as lawmakers prepare for what Politico is calling a "go small" year. It's predicting that what's oft been derided as a do-nothing Congress will do even less, as Republicans use ObamaCare's rocky debut to hammer any attempts to expand government. (Read more minimum wage stories.)

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