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New Poll Shows Statewide Support For $20 Minimum Wage in Massachusetts



By Erin Tiernan

New polling suggests statewide support for another minimum wage hike and as lawmakers weigh a push to raise the wage floor, an advocacy coalition is now actively pondering a ballot question to “force the issue.”

Getting back to the numbers for now, 59 percent of Bay State voters said they would support raising the minimum wage in Massachusetts to $20 an hour compared to 33 percent who are opposed and 7 percent who are undecided, according to the results of a new poll shared first with MASSterList.

The Change Research survey conducted for Northwind Strategies polled 711 likely Massachusetts voters last month, recruiting responses over Facebook and Instagram and through text message appeals.

It revealed a majority of voters are in favor of boosting the minimum wage, which at $15 an hour is already the fourth-highest in the nation.

“I was surprised, to be honest — given that we just raised the minimum wage — that support was this high on the heels of finishing up the last hike. But it is,” longtime Democratic strategist Doug Rubin told MASSterList.

The poll was the first to put the issue back in front of voters as discussions around a wage hike and the state’s high cost of living heat up.

It takes nearly $18 as of November 2022 to buy what $15 bought in June 2018, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“A Way To Force The Issue”
Bills filed by Winchester Sen. Jason Lewis (SD 2032) and Reps. Tram Nguyen of Andover and Daniel Donahue of Worcester (HD 3965) would raise the minimum wage by $1.25 per hour a year until it reaches $20 in 2027. The wage would then be tied to the consumer price index starting in 2028 so it automatically rises alongside inflation. The bills would also effectively double the lowest wage for tipped workers to $12 an hour.

Massachusetts’ minimum wage hit $15 an hour in January after five years of gradual raises. But weeks after the rate hit the ceiling outlined by the 2018 “grand bargain” law, progressive power players are already mobilizing to keep the hourly wage floor rising.

The Raise Up Coalition, the deep-pocketed faction of labor and community groups behind the first wage hike and the just-passed income surtax ballot initiative, on Friday filed paperwork with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance indicating their readiness to organize yet another ballot campaign.

“We considered organizing for a ballot initiative as a way to force the issue a bit,” said SEIU State Council Executive Director Harris Gruman, who filed the paperwork on behalf of Raise Up. “There is a tendency on Beacon Hill to go slow and be cautious. We respect that but with this, we feel the need to put it on the front burner.”

Gruman said the $15 won in 2018 “is not worth what [it] was then — not even close.”

Gov. Maura Healey, who has been trying to build a pro-business reputation, has said she believes the minimum wage should be adjusted over time to keep up with the cost of living. An aide told MASSterList only that she “would review any legislation that reaches her desk.”

Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ronald Mariano haven’t mentioned a wage hike bill among their session priorities, but their support would be critical to any effort to push a bill through the Legislature.

Making Massachusetts more affordable and helping people cope with the state’s high cost of loving have emerged as themes in the new session, and the bills have picked up 47 co-sponsors — all Democrats — out of 200 lawmakers in the House and Senate.

Gruman pointed to the high costs of housing, child care and other necessities in Massachusetts as justification for another minimum wage increase, and said Raise Up hasn’t settled on $20 an hour just yet, hinting a ballot question could ask voters to raise wages even higher.

Raise Up’s ballot question committee filing lists its purpose as “building shared prosperity in the Commonwealth through higher minimum wages and fair and adequate taxation.”

A “living wage” calculator tool published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates an individual working full-time to support themselves in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton metropolitan area needs to earn $22.59 per hour to live comfortably.

Businesses Still Recovering
But making Machusetts more competitive and affordable in an era of high inflation and increasing interest rates can’t put the onus on the backs of small businesses, said Jon Hurst of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

“Thousands went out of business in the last three years due to COVID — from shutdowns, restrictions, lower sales, messaging, supply chain, labor costs, you name it. And now with inflation and interest rates, we can’t be adding more costs,” Hurst said.

If the unions continue to “leverage Beacon Hill,” Hurst said businesses will be forced to “leverage the unions” in an effort to block another wage hike.

No other state in the country has a $20 minimum wage nor legislation on the books to push it to that threshold in coming years. The $15 per hour wage that took effect Jan. 1 puts Massachusetts fourth among states and territories behind Washington, D.C. ($16.10), Washington state ($15.74) and California ($15.50), according to data tracked by the Economic Policy Institute.

When it comes to voters, Rubin said, “The only group that clearly doesn’t want to raise the minimum wage is Republicans.” Just 26 percent of GOP voters said they would support a wage increase compared to 64 percent of Democrats and 42 percent of unaffiliated voters.

Women overwhelmingly support increasing the minimum wage to $20 an hour, with 69 percent of female voters indicating support compared with 48 percent of men. Just 21 percent of women opposed boosting hourly wages while men revealed a near-even split on the issue with 46 percent saying they’re opposed.

Slicing the state into four quadrants, Greater Boston — the state’s most expensive region — had the strongest support with 65 percent of voters in support. Next was South Shore and South Coast voters with 60 percent in support, followed by North Shore voters where 56 percent are favorable to a wage hike. Even in the more conservative central and western parts of Massachusetts, a narrow majority (51 percent) of voters said they’d say “yes” to a $20 minimum wage.



  1. MortisMaximus

    March 14, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    This is totally outrageous. When will this progressive insanity stop. Wait until you are earning $20 an hour at a minimum wage job, you’ll be paying $20 for a loaf of bread. Massachusetts is circling the toilet bowl of America. This poll is a fraud. How many of those polled own a business? How about working overtime to make ends meet? Funny how overtime hours are taxed at 50%, the government is really looking out for the people. Overtime should be taxed at 0%.

  2. HuntersCrackPipe

    March 14, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Anyone else disgusted by this socialist monster destroying Massachusetts?

  3. HuntersCrackPipe

    March 14, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    A group with 208 members will be setting the policy that will destroy Massachusetts ability to compete economically with the rest of the world.

  4. Antifa

    March 14, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    Hey look it’s all the doom and gloom clowns that have been predicting Doom and gloom for all their lives because they’re suckers for bullshit. First they complain the state is too expensive probably because they’re not making enough money because their employers have been screwing them for years and they love taking it off the butt but can’t pull themselves up or unionize.

    Either that or they are employers who haven’t figured out how to make money so they think they can screw their employees. If we had universal health care it would be a lot easier for small companies and entrepreneurs. But again we like being screwed in this country. Number 11 in quality and care but number one in cost! The robberbarons just love the suckers above!

    • MortisMaximus

      March 14, 2023 at 5:25 pm

      What does any of this illiterate rambling mean? The facts are clear, Massachusetts small businesses are struggling thanks to the Covid19 pandemic and the White House residents clown show economy. Look at the Mighty banks who can’t make a successful run at it in Bidens America. Ms. Antifa has obviously never run a business and met payroll. If they/it has they don’t anymore due to failure. Stop acting like you have the answers. America is a Republic, not a democracy. Our Constitution is focused on the rights of the individual and not the collective. This is mob rule progressives trampling over Americans. It is time to expose these socialist Marxists and their desire to reshape America into Commie China. Come with some facts and not this psychobabble rhetoric you FASCIST failure.

  5. HuntersCrackPipe

    March 14, 2023 at 5:28 pm

    Fraud polling done by socialists!

  6. Antifa

    March 15, 2023 at 7:56 am

    The above clowns only go to websites that agree with their fascist beliefs even though it’s all fake news. You have to be a big sucker or stupid to believe fake news. They want everybody to work three jobs at $5 an hour! They believe in slavery and they want to be the slave! So why do you clowns kiss the ass of the robber barons? Bend over fools!!! He wants to give it to you without lube!

    Thanks to the idiots above the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Then they complain about being poor!

    • MortisMaximus

      March 15, 2023 at 9:02 am

      Russian Collusion. No mention of the commie socialists pushing for $20 an hour minimum. Washing dishes and flipping hamburgers doesn’t merit $20 an hour, but what the hell, it sure sounds good. Antifa it/they would like you to believe that they have the market cornered when it comes to the truth. We’ve suffered the lies of the MSM for decades. No one is entitled to a job and a certain salary. If you feel like a slave working for $15 an hour one of the highest minimum wages in the country, then better yourself and move on. Why is it the business owners responsibility to make you happy. America is fucked if this entitlement mentality doesn’t change. Welcome to the new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Delusion. Get Woke and go Broke!

  7. Antifa

    March 15, 2023 at 7:59 am

    $20 an hour is barely enough for a single person with no children.

    • MortisMaximus

      March 15, 2023 at 2:25 pm

      Get a second job then, you commie bastard! Ken Messianic masquerading as an antifa clown at the age of 64. Get a life and an education you failure.

      • Antifa isn't Masonic. Just anti-fascist.

        March 15, 2023 at 11:46 pm

        I guess you weren’t around in the ’60s and ’70s before the robber barons took over with the help with Ronnie Raygun. Life was much better and medical was extremely affordable before Nixon and HMOs. Working people didn’t need food stamps to survive like they do now because the minimum wage. Now our minimum wage is poverty. Can you survive on it? Will you keep on getting suckered by breitbarton Fox News ran by a super rich Australian? Thanks to people like you that get sucked by this bull**** this country is turning into a violent, hate filled s*** hole. I guess you hate this country or you hate working people. Just keep on bending and taking it cuz you ain’t bright enough to realize that you’re shooting yourself in the foot!

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