The latest Dakota Free Press poll finds that Referred Law 19, David and Al Novstrup’s effort to cut the minimum wage for teenagers, is as popular as Donald Trump among my readers.
I asked Sunday morning, “Do you support Referred Law 20, which would cut the minimum wage for young workers?” Through the wee hours this morning, 202 of you responded (thank you!). 84% of you said No; 16% said Yes.
That 16% Yes vote is the same result that Donald Trump got in the DFP Presidential poll in mid-September. The 84% rejection is harder thumpage than DFP readers gave Referred Law 19 at State Fair time. The greater than 5-to-1 difference is far bigger than the almost 2-to-1 votes you cast in favor of Amendment V in August.
Hmm… looks like it’s time for me to poll the other ballot measures and see if we can rack up any greater margin of defeat or victory for any other measure!
Now we know that Dakota Free Press readers are not representative of the general electorate. You’re all smarter, better looking, and more easily distracted by the Internet. ;-)
But consider: suppose my blog polls are usually off by 20%. We’re probably off by more than that on Trump, but he’s a unique and personal case, and my blog is probably uniquely repellent to Trumpists (statistics, evidence, logic, civil discourse… yup! Trump-bane!). Subtract 20 points from my blog poll results on the ballot measures, and V dies (which I can imagine happening, given Republican push against and Democratic disagreement on V), 19 fails with about a 60% vote, and the youth minimum wage fails with an even stronger No vote. That’s strange: I thought RL 19 would be the easier kill, given that its arcanity would enhance its indefensibility, while RL 20 would be tighter, floating around the 55% by which the minimum wage increase passed in 2014, then trading votes between conservatives who either think kids should get lower pay or don’t like the minimum wage in the first place and small-d democrats who are mad at the Novstrups and the GOP for messing with a voter-approved initiative.
I won’t get complacent: I’ll keep pushing the idea that the Novstrups’ youth minimum wage is a bad idea. But if this poll is any indication, that message has already gotten through to more people than I expected.
Related: Remember how I reported in July that the economic data for the first sixteen months of our increased minimum wage showed no signs of harming South Dakota’s unemployment rate, workforce participation rate, or GDP growth? The Bureau of Finance and Management has four more months of data in its South Dakota Economic and Revenue Update, and sure enough, through August 2016, under a minimum wage of $8.55 an hour, South Dakota continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, year-over-year increases in employment (percentage and raw number) in every major sector but manufacturing, a steady workforce participation rate (up a tiny tick this year), and positive year-to-year GDP growth in every quarter since the 2015 minimum wage increase.*
Gee, maybe its not my persuasive force but the sheer strength of the economy dooming the Novstrups’ youth minimum wage to defeat.
*Correction 14:48 CDT: I misread the state’s double-scale bar chart. I regret the error and have revised the chart to better reflect the state’s data.