Iowans believe the income gap between rich and poor is getting bigger, and most do not have an equal shot at getting ahead economically
Des Moines, Iowa — Progress Iowa today released the results of a recent statewide survey testing issues expected to face the legislature during the upcoming session, scheduled to begin next week. The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) between January 3rd and 5th, 2014.
The results showed 53% of Iowans support raising the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour, while just 36% opposed. The minimum wage increase received support across the entire economic spectrum. 58% of Iowans who earn more than $100,000 per year supported raising the wage. Iowans also believe by wide margins that the gap between the rich and poor is getting bigger (60%-31%) and that not everyone in Iowa has an equal shot of getting ahead economically (56%-36%).
“The Governor and the legislature need to focus on closing Iowa’s income gap and make sure everyone has a fair opportunity to get ahead,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “They can start by raising the minimum wage, which would put more money in the pockets of 216,000 working Iowans without the state having to spend a single dollar.”
“Iowans see a widening gap between the rich and poor, and don’t believe everyone has the same chance to get ahead,” said Jim Williams, a polling analyst at PPP. “That’s why there is such an appeal for increasing the minimum wage among all income levels, even the top earners.”
Polling results also showed strong opposition to policies pursued by Governor Branstad:
67% of Iowans believe that the Governor’s method of counting ‘gross jobs’ is not honest. Only 13% believe it is an honest assessment of job growth.
65% of those polled do not want Orascom to receive additional tax breaks from the state. And 22% want the original tax breaks promised to Orascom rescinded. Only 24% want to continue the tax break as planned.
54% oppose the measure signed and supported by Governor Branstad, giving him approval for the reimbursement of Medicaid funded abortions. Just 18% support the Governor having such approval.
“Governor Branstad’s deceptive trick of counting only jobs gained and ignoring jobs lost is not fooling Iowans,” said Sinovic. “Two thirds of his constituents believe that the Governor is being dishonest about jobs. It’s unfortunate that the Governor doesn’t seem capable of honesty on this issue, especially because any discussion about improving Iowa’s economy must start with an honest assessment of job growth.”
When asked how the state should spend the $120 million in the new ‘Taxpayer Trust Fund’ more than 90% of Iowans believe it should be spent on something other than personal tax credits. Just 7% wanted every Iowan to receive a $54 tax credit with the funds, while 39% want the state to rebuild Iowa’s roads and bridges, 26% want the funds to be saved for potential future shortfalls, and 23% want the funds invested in public education.
Public Policy Polling surveyed 965 Iowa voters between January 3rd-5th. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.2%. PPP surveys are conducted using automated telephone interviews.