OneSeattle, a group formed to represent business interests in this city's minimum wage fight, has a new poll out this afternoon. It finds support for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle at 47 percent.
The group says this means public opinion is "shifting" on the minimum wage issue, and it indicates it's measuring that perceived shift relative to the January poll that found 68 percent of Seattleites in favor of a $15 minimum wage.
But, there are some key differences between the two polls.
That January poll, funded by labor interests and Nick Hanauer, surveyed 805 likely Seattle voters over eight days and posed the simple question of whether respondents support "setting Seattle's minimum wage at $15 an hour." (No phase-in, no exceptions.) This new OneSeattle poll surveyed a much smaller group—400 likely voters—over a three-day period, and it asked a much more complicated question involving phase-ins for only very small businesses and non-profits, and a mention of "Kshama Sawant of the Socialist Alternative Party." Click to enlarge:
So.... "shifting"? Maybe. Or: maybe this was a smaller pool of people in which more of the likely voters ended up being confused by a complicated question and/or spooked by the mention of the Socialist Alternative Party. In any case, a real, reliably-measured shift in opinion would have to involve an apples-to-apples comparison of polling data. This poll doesn't give us that.