According to our most recent DHM Panel survey, a slim majority (51%) of Oregonians would likely support a $15 minimum wage measure if an election were held today.
Our survey polled 624 Oregonians who indicated they were registered to vote. These voters were provided with the ballot title and “yes” and “no” result statements for a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by January 1, 2019. The title and result statements have been certified by the Attorney General and may appear on the November 2016 ballot.
Voters were then asked a follow-up question about a $13.50 minimum wage measure. At this time, a $13.50 minimum wage measure has been filed with the Secretary of State, but the ballot language has not yet been certified.
It is important to note that the election is still a year away, and the petitioners of each minimum wage proposal will need to collect over 88,000 signatures from registered voters if the measures are to appear on the ballot. If that occurs, the campaigns for and against the measure are sure to have an effect on public opinion.
Chart 1, below, shows how voters said they would vote on the $15 minimum wage proposal if the election were held today.
Chart 2, below, illustrates the different levels of support for this measure based on demographics.
Oregon’s youngest voters, those ages 18-29, were most likely to support (either “certain to vote yes” or “leaning toward voting yes”) the measure, at 70%. Some 43% of voters ages 30-44 support the measure, along with 44% of voters ages 45-54 and 58% of voters 55 and older.
In Multnomah County, 69% of voters indicated support for the measure, compared to 57% of the Tri-County area, 53% of Willamette Valley voters, and 40% of voters in other parts of the state.
Nearly eight in 10 registered Democrats (79%) said they supported the measure as compared to 16% of registered Republicans.
Next, voters were asked how they would vote if an election were held today that included both a $15 per hour and $13.50 per hour minimum wage proposal on the same ballot. Chart 3, below, those results.
DHM previously asked Oregonians questions about the minimum wage in April 2015, in a survey done in partnership with OPB. When asked in an open-ended format what Oregon’s minimum wage should be, most Oregonians picked a number under $15 per hour.
Oregon law doesn’t currently allow local governments to set a minimum wage higher than the state rate. In the same April survey as above, DHM also asked Oregonians whether local governments should be able to set a higher minimum wage. At that time, 44% of Oregonians said they would support giving local governments this option, while 47% said they opposed it.
You can read more about the results of our April survey on OPB here.