New Jersey voters tomorrow decide the fate of a proposed constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage by a dollar and provide for annual increases based on inflation.
The latest Monmouth University poll indicates the amendment will be approved. The poll found 58 percent of likely voters surveyed say they’ll support the measure, while only 28 percent plan to vote against it.
Criticism has focused on the automatic cost-of-living increase. Poll director Patrick Murray says only 36 percent of voters say they’ve given that aspect a lot of thought, and 43 percent say they haven’t thought about that at all.
“The support is almost the same regardless of whether they’ve been thinking about it or not,” Murray said. “So the charges and warnings that the business community have been putting out there that there’s potential dangers in this constitutional aspect of raising the minimum wage and cost of living increases just hasn’t sunk through to the voters.”
The majority of Democrats and independent voters surveyed plan to vote for the wage increase, but only 32 percent of Republicans support it.
Monmouth’s poll also found that Gov. Chris Christie holds a 20-point lead over Democratic challenger Barbara Buono among likely voters.
Murray says Christie has a 60-to-35 advantage over Buono among voters who live in shore towns that were hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.
“Governor Christie is only doing a few points better than he is statewide there,” he said. “So he’s doing well but probably not as well as he could have been considering the normal Republican tilt of these towns.”
Murray says indications are Republican voters are more likely to turn out for this election than they did for last month’s U.S. Senate election. He says that could boost the margin of victory for Christie.