UWM poll shows overwhelming support for minimum wage hike

By Ryan Billingham - Freeman Staff

June 13, 2014

MILWAUKEE - A recently released University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee poll shows continued support for a state minimum wage increase and strong opposition to spending state funds on a new Milwaukee Bucks arena.

The Wisconsin Economic Scorecard is a quarterly poll of Wisconsin residents conducted by the UWM Center for Urban Initiatives and Research.

The scorecard released for the second quarter of 2014 shows that 76 percent of Wisconsin voters support increasing the state’s minimum wage.

The poll also shows that spending state funds on a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks is supported by only 24 percent of Wisconsin residents and 34 percent of Milwaukee-area residents.

Spending state funds on associated infrastructure projects is slightly more popular at 37 percent.

Other major findings:

* When asked to specify an ideal minimum wage, the most common answer among Wisconsin voters is $10 per hour, with a median response of $9 per hour.

* About 70 percent of Wisconsin voters support tying future increases in the state minimum wage to the rate of inflation.

* While evaluations of personal financial situations have not improved, evaluations of the broader economy, the pace of job creation, and the overall direction of the state all moved in a positive direction during the second quarter of 2014.

* 68 percent of Wisconsin residents support increasing efforts to develop and incorporate more renewable energy sources.

* When it comes to covering a large projected shortfall in the state transportation fund, state voters prefer delaying construction projects and implementing toll roads, but dislike the option of borrowing money.

The poll is a random digit dial telephone survey of 526 Wisconsin residents and was conducted from June 2-5.