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Leaked Poll Fractures United Front Against Raising Minimum Wage

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A leaked poll shows businesses owners are overwhelmingly in favor of increasing the minimum wage, but critics warn the findings are misleading.

The poll found 80 percent of business owners at least somewhat favor increasing the minimum wage. It found 26 percent totally support the policy, 34 percent mostly do and 19 percent somewhat support it. The leaked information was first uncovered by the liberal opposition research group the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and reported by The Washington Post.

“A top GOP polling firm instructed state Chamber of Commerce lobbyists how to try to defeat popular measures like increasing the minimum wage,” CMD said in a press release. “Despite polling data from business leaders that shows overwhelming support for such progressive workplace policies.”

The poll was conducted by LuntzGlobal which is owned by the renowned Republican pollster Frank Luntz. It was commissioned by The Council of State Chambers which helps coordinate between local business chambers across the country. Council Director Joe Crosby notes business owners want their employees to be better off, but one-size-fits-all mandates are problematic.

“Of course business owners support raising wages and benefits for their employees; those are goals they work for every day,” Crosby said to The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email statement. “The survey did not ask about specific policy proposals, and it primarily covered midsized and larger companies, not the smaller businesses that are most affected by wage and leave mandates.”

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) said the poll doesn’t take into account how wage increases impact different businesses. Some businesses may have an easier time overcoming the added cost of labor from an increased minimum wage. Small businesses and low-profit industries may have more difficulty.

“The Council of State Chambers represent diverse membership,” NRA Spokeswoman Christin Fernandez said to TheDCNF. “Some industries can absorb the cost of increases while others can’t. Restaurants operate on extremely thin margins and any increase to the cost of labor will be felt across the board.”

The National Federation of Independent Business adds that it also helps to keep small businesses from competing. The poll only asked whether the minimum wage should be raised but not by how much. The union-backed Fight for $15 movement has been at the forefront of the policy push.

“A $15 minimum wage would further jeopardize the ability of all employers to grow and create opportunities in New York,” Unshackle Upstate Executive Director Greg Biryla said to TheDCNF. “While businesses and not-for-profits in other states face more modest minimum wage increase proposals, that simply wasn’t the case here.”

Unshackle Upstate is part of a growing coalition of business groups that has opposed New York lawmakers moving to a $15 minimum wage. New York is among a handful of states that are looking at raise the minimum wage to the $15 an hour mark. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo managed to arrive at a possible deal with state lawmakers after fighting for the increase for months.

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