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Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney speaks about national security at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington in this file photo from May 21, 2009. Cheney, 69, was hospitalized in George Washington Hospital on February 22, 2010 after experienci
Remember how no matter what happened, there were usually about 27 percent of people who approved of Dick Cheney as vice president? Or how really almost any far-right policy will draw a base of about 27 percent? Well, guess what. President Obama's proposal to raise the minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 an hour to $9.00 an hour has widespread public support, a new Pew Research Center/USA Today poll finds. Really widespread: 71 percent of people polled were in favor of increasing the minimum wage, while just 26 percent were opposed. Yup, 26 percent. Even among Republicans, 50 percent were in favor and 47 percent were opposed. There was one group that was opposed, though:
Among all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, those who agree with the Tea Party oppose the proposed minimum wage hike by two-to-one (64% to 32%). Those who have no opinion of the Tea Party, or disagree with it, favor increasing the minimum wage by 60% to 36%.
That translates to "extremely conservative Republicans oppose raising the minimum wage," which isn't much of a surprise—more striking is that so many people who are still Republicans in this age of Republican extremism are in favor of raising it.

As a reminder, $9.00 an hour means an annual income of less than $19,000 a year for full-time work, 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. Congressional Democrats had been pushing to raise the minimum wage to $9.80 an hour, so Obama's proposal was already scaled back. But while $9.00 isn't as high as the minimum wage should be, it's a huge improvement from $7.25. It's an extra $70 for a 40-hour work week, more than $3,600 extra in a year of full-time work. And, for many, it's the difference between living below the poverty line and climbing above it at least by a little.

Tell Congress to pass President Obama's extremely popular proposed increase to the minimum wage.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:39 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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