Late Friday afternoon—not the normal time for dropping big news—the business-backed group OneSeattle released a poll that it said shows support "shifting" against a city-wide wage hike to $15/hour.
In January, a labor-backed poll found support at 68 percent. This new business-backed poll finds support at 47 percent.
I've already pointed out how the second poll fails to offer an apple-to-apples comparison to the first, making the claim of "shifting" support suspect. Here's another interesting thing one notices when looking closely at the business-backed poll:
Click to enlarge.
Note the language of the question OneSeattle shared with reporters: "Proposal A would increase the minimum wage in Seattle from..."
That sounds like a poll that offered respondents a lot of different proposals (Proposal A, Proposal B, Proposal C, etc.) and then sought their opinions on each. But, OneSeattle only shared the results of its polling on Proposal A.
Alex Fryer, spokesman for OneSeattle, has not responded to questions about whether the business-backed poll included other questions, what they were, and how they polled. But Sage Wilson of Working Washington points out that the question for which OneSeattle shared results asks about a proposal not currently at the forefront of anyone's discussions—a proposal that defines small businesses that would qualify for a phase-in as those having "ten or fewer employees." (The ballot measure offered by $15 proponents last week defines small businesses that would qualify for a phase-in as having 250 or fewer employees.) Says Wilson:
It appears the only question where the business-backed poll found less than majority support was one which defines small business far more narrowly than is actually being discussed by anyone, because that's the only poll question they released. I assume the business groups also polled on their key issues of deducting tips and benefits from the minimum wage; if they haven't released those numbers, it's because they must not be helpful to their cause.
Every sign continues to suggest that there is strong public support for a $15 minimum wage that lifts up workers, makes provisions for community businesses and nonprofits, and stimulates the economy.
I'll post more if/when I hear back from OneSeattle on my questions about its poll.