Democrats, Younger Voters Most Likely to Support the Measure, Statewide Lambert/Denno Research Survey Shows

Lansing, Mich. – March 17, 2014 – A proposed initiative that would gradually raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.40 an hour to $10.10 an hour by 2017 is supported by two-thirds of likely Michigan voters, according to a statewide poll released today by Lambert, Michigan’s largest bipartisan public relations firm.

Among the 600 people surveyed statewide, 65 percent said they supported the initiative to increase the minimum wage in Michigan, while 32 percent opposed the initiative and 3 percent were undecided. The March 8-9 telephone poll was conducted by Denno Research. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Besides raising wages for those now getting paid the minimum wage, the initiative also would raise wages for tipped workers, such as waiters and waitresses, from $2.65 an hour to $10.10 an hour over the next nine years.

The minimum wage initiative had the support of 85 percent of Democratic voters, 65 percent of independents and 40 percent of Republicans, with 3 percent undecided, according to the Lambert/Denno Research poll. The measure was most popular among younger voters aged 18 to 34, with 77 percent backing the measure compared to around two-thirds of voters who were older.

“It’s understandable that raising the minimum wage is most popular with younger voters, since a larger proportion of them likely would benefit if the minimum wage increased,” said Jeff Lambert, Lambert managing partner and president. “Still, given the opposition of restaurant owners and others in the business community, it’s likely this will be a contentious issue if it’s on the ballot in November.”

Backers of the measure last month began collecting the 258,088 valid signatures they’ll need to collect by July 7 to qualify for legislative consideration of the proposal. If the Legislature rejects the petition, or does nothing with it, the proposal will go to the statewide ballot in November.

The Michigan Restaurant Association and other business trade groups have come out against the proposal, arguing it will cause employers to cut workers if they have to pay a higher wage. Raise Michigan, the coalition supporting it, says the measure will allow more Michigan workers to earn enough to move them off food stamps and boost the state economy by giving workers more income to spend.

“Given the number of states where raising the minimum wage is gaining momentum, it’s not surprising that Democrats see this as a popular issue that could get more supporters to the polls,” said Dennis Denno,  president of Denno Research.  “While the initiative is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Legislature, polling indicates voters could pass it handily if it’s on the ballot.”

About Lambert
Lambert ( is a top-10 Midwest-based PR firm and a top-20 investor relations firm nationally with clients based in 20 states and five countries.  As Michigan’s only statewide PR firm – with offices in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit –Lambert serves middle-market companies and national brands across a wide array of industries and is the state’s largest bipartisan public affairs firm. Lambert has posted 15 years of growth, been named PR Week and PRNews Small Firm of the Year, honored as an Edward Lowe “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” and earned Crain’s “Michigan’s Healthiest Employers” and “Cool Places for Work” honors. Lambert is also a partner in PROI Worldwide, the largest partnership of independent PR firms in the world spanning 120 cities on five continents.  Follow us on Twitter @LambertEdwards.

About Denno Research
The staff of Denno Research ( brings more than 20 years of experience in polling to their full-service public opinion company in Michigan. They offer experience in polling for political campaigns, corporations, associations and non-profit organizations, and have worked with clients in Michigan, Indiana, New York, North Carolina and New Jersey. They have been in business since 2004 and have conducted quarterly, statewide surveys to measure voters’ opinions since 2006.

About the Poll
This survey was part of an Lambert/Denno Research Periodic Survey of the Michigan electorate. Six hundred likely voters statewide were surveyed by telephone March 8-9. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Twenty percent of those polled were contacted on cell phones.  All numbers are rounded and may exceed 100 percent.