With his proposal to raise the minimum wage to $9, President Barack Obama may have found a way to repay his supporters for re-electing him to a second term.
Data suggests that a minimum wage increase will be disproportionally advantageous to the same demographic constituencies that voted for the president in 2012.
For starters, check out this chart from the Economic Policy Institute identifying which income groups will benefit the most from an increase in the minimum wage :
Compare that to a similar chart that shows the margin of Obama support among different income levels from a mid-election Gallup poll. Try to find some similarities:
Essentially, the income groups with the strongest support for President Obama during the 2012 Presidential election are the income groups that would see the most economic gain from a minimum wage hike.
The Economic Policy Institute also estimated the demographic breakdown of the group of workers who would either directly or indirectly benefit from a hike in the minimum wage.
That breakdown is expressed here in the next chart with blue bars. The red bars show the actual breakdown of the U.S. workforce demographically.
When the blue line is higher than the red line, that group disproportionally benefits from a hike in the minimum wage when viewed against their full share of the workforce:
Incidentally, the groups that benefit are also constituencies that typically vote Democratic. In 2012, Obama won 55 per cent of the women’s vote, 93 per cent of the black vote, and 71 per cent of the Hispanic vote.
Interestingly, workers aged 16 to 19 — some of whom will be voting for the first time in 2014 and 2016 — would also see some of the biggest gains from a hike in the minimum wage, according to EPI:
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