Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Minimum Wage Could be a Key Issue in Arizona’s U.S. Senate Race


The federal minimum wage may be affecting year’s elections. A new poll shows a majority of Arizonans support an increase. And that could determine how they vote for the state’s U.S. Senate seat. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

The survey by Public Policy Polling shows 68 percent of Arizonans either somewhat support or strongly support a federal minimum wage hike from $7.25 cents an hour to $10 dollars an hour. In addition, 53 percent of the respondents say they’re less likely to vote for a candidate who opposes increasing the minimum wage.

Republican Senator John McCain has consistently opposed such raises, but his Democratic challenger, Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, supports a boost. The poll shows the two are currently tied in the race.

Northern Arizona University political science professor Fred Solop says the issue comes down to this:

“The real question’s going to be, are the supporters going to come out and vote, are they going to participate in the election? If the public is widely supportive and motivated, it could affect different races,” Solop says.

Arizonans will decide in November whether to raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour from $8.05. Only one other wage initiative will appear on ballots in the state. Flagstaff voters will determine if the city will increase its minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour by 2021.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
Related Content