YGN Releases New Poll Data On Economic Growth, Inequality Debate

Poll: Americans Prioritize Growth, Job-Creation Over Minimum Wage Hike

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The YG Network — a non-profit 501(c)(4) dedicated to broadening the Young Guns movement by promoting next-generation conservative policies — today released new poll data examining Americans’ attitudes on the debate over how to address the country’s persistent economic ills.

The national survey of 1,000 likely 2014 voters, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates from January 14th through 17th, is one of the first to explore the trade-offs inherent in the economic inequality debate being pursued by liberals. Key takeaways include:

  • By a two to one majority, 64% to 33%, respondents say that expanding economic growth for everyone is more important than narrowing the gap between rich and poor.
  • While 3 in 4 respondents, 74%, support raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour, only one in three respondents, 36%, say that it would make their personal financial situation better.
  • Nearly 6 in 10 respondents, 59%, believe that creating economic growth and new private sector jobs by holding the line on taxes and reducing regulations on businesses is the best way to create new jobs and pay raises for working middle class families. Only one in three respondents, 32%, say raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour is better.
  • If the minimum wage is raised to $10 an hour, only 33% say that more jobs will be created. The plurality, 42%, says more low wage workers will lose their jobs.
  • Six in ten, 60%, of all respondents say that they prefer allowing states to determine their own minimum wages, because wages and the cost of living are different in each state. Only one in three, 34%, prefer the federal government setting one national minimum wage.
  • The majority of respondents, 55%, prefer the federal government focus on policies designed to grow the economy, like lowering energy costs, lowering taxes on small businesses, reducing regulations and cutting spending. Only 39% prefer the federal government focusing on policies that address income inequality, such as continuing to provide long-term unemployment benefits, increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour and increasing taxes on the wealthy.
  • Almost half the respondents, 48%, say that approving the Keystone Pipeline to lower energy costs would have a more positive effect on them and their family than raising the minimum wage, 37%.
  • When given a choice between two contrasted positions, the majority of respondents, 53%, supported Congressman B, who says what’s holding back American workers is the high cost of health care, failing schools and outdated government policies. Only one in three respondents, 35%, chose Congressman A, who says what’s holding back American workers is weak labor unions, a low minimum wage and political power of wealthy business owners.

“A critical takeaway is that even though respondents initially see raising the minimum wage as a positive idea, the policy position has weak support when compared to concentrating on economic growth and job creation,” writes pollster John McLaughlin in his memo. “Overall, respondents favor pro-growth economic policies on taxes and regulation in order to create jobs and pay raises that would benefit them and their families over federal proposals focusing on income inequality. As we know from YG Network’s previous public opinion research, Americans across the board care about those who are trapped at the bottom of the economic ladder, and desire policy solutions that are grounded in fairness. As families struggle through a fifth year in the Obama economy, it’s clear that respondents feel that the most fair way to get Americans back on their feet is through policies that grow our economy and create jobs.”

  • Click here to view John McLaughlin’s memo analyzing the poll data.
  • Click here to view the poll toplines.
  • Click here to view cross-tabs.
  • Click here to view a detailed presentation of the poll results, including charts and graphs.

Notably, a new Quinnipiac poll reveals that just 1% of Americans believe income inequality should be the top priority for President Obama and Congress in 2014, while another 1% cite class inequality. In the same poll, 31% of respondents said the economy in general or jobs/unemployment should be the top priority, while 18 percent said health care.

YG Network’s national survey of 1,000 likely 2014 general election voters was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates from January 14th to 17th, 2014. All interviews were conducted online; survey invitations were distributed randomly within predetermined geographic units. These units were structured to correlate with actual voter turnout in a nationwide general election. This poll of 1,000 likely general election voters has an accuracy of +/- 3.1% at a 95% confidence interval.