Arkansans for a Fair Wage, the group backing an initiated act to raise the state minimum wage from $8.50/hour to $11 by 2021, says a poll it commissioned shows strong support among Arkansas voters. At least before corporate interests led by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and its related taxpayer-subsidized organizations begin their advertising against it.

Benenson Strategy Group said it polled 800 likely voters May 2-6 by a telephone, but didn’t disclose how the voter list was chosen. The results:


* The group favored the increase 64 to 30.

* Independents favored it 60-34.


* Democrats favored it 91-2.

* Republicans were narrowly opposed 46-49.


The polling firm said the rising cost of living and a belief that the current minimum is too low to live on drove support for the increase.

The firm also apparently polled the governor’s race. It didn’t release results. But it said those who identified as undecided in that race favored an increased 56-36 and even 50 percent of those planning to vote Republican supported an increase.

The full document wasn’t released so it’s not possible to gauge if the horse race questions were preceded by questions and statements designed to push respondents toward the outcomes. However, the last minimum wage increase in 2014 passed by a similar margin.