By Matt Friedman/The Star-Ledger
TRENTON — Most New Jersey voters want to raise the state’s minimum wage, according to a poll released this morning.
The Quinnipiac University poll found 76 percent favor increasing the minimum wage from its current $7.25, while 21 percent are opposed.
That's down from a January poll, when 82 percent favored increasing it while 16 percent were opposed.
“I think it’s a blip at most," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute
The poll did not ask respondents by how much they would like to see the wage increased.
The state Legislature has put a question on the November ballot asking voters to amend the state Constitution to increase the wage from $7.25 to $8.25, followed by automatic annual increases based on the Consumer Price Index.
Gov. Chris Christie last month nixed the Legislature’s attempt to raise the minimum wage to $8.50, instead suggesting a three-year gradual increase to $8.25. Christie also took out the part of the Legislatures’ bill that included automatic cost of living increases.
Instead of taking up Christie’s suggestions, the Senate and Assembly pushed forward with the ballot referendum.
"The fact that they’re for it doesn’t mean they’re going to vote for it," said Carroll. "But it’s an apple pie and motherhood question for a poll: 'Do you approve of raising the minimum wage for those poor and deserving people?' 'Sure.'”
The poll found a majority of voters – 56 percent – think they should be the ones to decide whether to increase the wage instead of the Legislature.
The poll of 1,149 voters was conducted from Feb. 13 to Feb. 17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.