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We do not expect House Republicans to take up an increase in the minimum wage during this Congress. But if they did, they would find themselves on the right side of history and public opinion.

A survey of American adults released last week by Quinnipiac University found that 71 percent — including majorities of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans — support raising the minimum wage; 51 percent believe it should be raised to $10.10 an hour or higher.

Our own research has found that raising the minimum wage is consistently and increasingly one of the most powerful policies that we test on our national surveys. As we hear in focus groups across the country, “The minimum wage is way below the cost of living.” These people are not policy experts, but they know the price of gas and groceries.

In a few weeks, Democracy Corps will be traveling to Denver to conduct live dial-meter groups during President Obama’s State of the Union address. Last year, the president’s call to raise the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour received strong approval from the Democrats and Independents in our group.

Carville-Greenberg minimum wage chart

And yet congressional Republicans cannot find the will to even allow this issue to come to a vote.

Meanwhile, in unrelated news, the Center for Responsive Politics announced on Monday that — for the first time in history — more than half of all members of Congress are millionaires.

Photo: Caroline’s eye via Flickr

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